Sexual harassment is a global problem. It is one symptom of unequal power relations, most often between men and women.
CARE is implementing a three-year project in garment factories in Cambodia and Myanmar to prevent and respond to sexual harassment. The project, Enhancing Women's Voice to Stop Sexual Harassment (STOP), is supported by the Australian Government under the Gender Action Platform (GAP).
In 2016, CARE conducted research into rates and costs of sexual harassment in the garment industry in Cambodia, which employs an estimated 600,000 garment workers. Results showed that nearly one in three women had experienced sexually harassing behaviours in the previous 12 months. The cost of harassment to the industry was estimated at USD 89 million per annum. Through the STOP project, CARE will roll out a sexual harassment training package with garment factories in Cambodia to reduce rates of harassment.
In Myanmar, the project will support women like Ei, who is one of 738,000 workers currently employed in Myanmar's garment and footwear sector. At the age of 27, she has been working in the one garment factory for eight years. To support Ei, and other garment factory workers in Myanmar, the project will develop a locally contextualised package based on CARE's work in Cambodia.
CARE will work with garment workers, private sector and government stakeholders to support the development and testing of the package.