Promoting gender equality and tackling violence against women

Many female workers in global supply chains experience high levels of harassment and violence, both in the workplace and in their personal relationships.

This violence, which can be economic, emotional, physical, or sexual, deprives women of their basic human rights and compromises their well-being. In addition, an increasing amount of evidence shows that when the well-being of workers suffers, businesses and economies are negatively impacted. Violence against women is bad for business, and there is a high cost to inaction.

1 in 7

1 in 7 women garment workers has been raped or forced to commit a sexual act.


47% of Indian women feel the top issue at work is sexual harassment.

HERrespect tackles violence against women by addressing the root causes of violence in the workplace. These causes include:

  • A general acceptance of harassment and violence against women in the workplace and a lack of awareness of the significances of unequal gender roles and norms
  • A lack of essential skills among management to handle stressful environments and a perception of violence as the most accessible and effective way to achieve production targets
  • Dominant gender norms that reinforce the unequal relationship between managers and workers
  • A lack of gender-specific policies and systems to prevent and act on violence, and a lack of communication regarding these policies to managers and workers

Focus Areas

HERrespect is based on the standard HERproject activities, with the following focus areas:

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Critical reflections on gender norms

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Skill building to prevent and address violence

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Joint sessions between workers and management

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Strengthening Management Systems

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Policies and processes to prevent and address workplace violence

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Awareness campaigns and monitoring of programs

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Linkages to community services and local initiatives

Featured Story

I think this training is useful, and we should implement it in our daily lives. It is important for people to behave with respect towards each other. We can set the example—if people see that we behave respectfully towards them, they may behave like this with others.

At work, I would say that if I see anyone behaving badly, I will talk to them about it—regardless of whether they are a supervisor, a line manager, or a co-worker. I will tell [them] to discuss their problems rather than screaming over people. This training has taught me that rather than getting aggressive or angry about the situation, it is easier to find a solution if both parties calm down and have a discussion about it.

I would like to teach my daughter both Arabic and Bengali. And if I can afford it, I would like her to become a doctor. If everyone in our society starts believing that men and women are equal, we have a chance to change things.

Antara Akhter Arifa

Antara Akhter Arifa