HERrespect: Promoting Positive Gender Relations through Workplace Interventions
Dhaka Division, Bangladesh
Summary of Intervention / Research
The ready-made garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh employs up to four million people and has high female participation. Building on BSR’s ten years of experience creating workplace-based women’s empowerment programs, HERrespect is developing a new approach on how workplaces can be transformed to recognise gender equality as a business priority. Working directly in factories provides an entry point to shift workplace practices, and to reach workers’ families and communities. The workplace can act as an incubator for dialogue between men and women on the underlying issues that lead to violence, and also provides a space to reach women who, despite gaining financial independence, are still at risk.
HERrespect utilizes the BSR’s HERproject methodology of capacity building and workplace system strengthening, with the following focus areas:
- Gender transformative training for middle management, female and male workers to raise awareness on gender and violence, reflect on social norms, and build skills to prevent and address sexual harassment and intimate partner violence;
- Factory-wide campaigns on prevention and response to violence;
- Guidance on best practices and policies to prevent and address sexual harassment, and
- Community campaigns to mobilize leaders and men, and support participants to become “Change Makers” in both workplace and community.
BSR supported international research organization icddr,b to conduct formative research in 2015 so that we could better understand the forms and causes of violence in factories. HERrespect training commenced in four in factories in November 2016, with the baseline preceding that. All training is expected to be completed by July 2017, and the endline will be conducted in late 2017/early 2018.
Marat Yu, Manager, BSR