Promoting gender equality
In Vietnam, garment factories registered with Better Work cover just over 600,000 workers — almost 80% are women. Gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace is not a new phenomenon, although cases often go unreported.
In June 2019, the ILO conference adopted a Convention that for the first time deals with violence and harassment in the workplace. The revised Vietnamese labour code of 2019 also provides guidelines, including a clear definition of sexual harassment, a broadened concept of “workplace”, in addition to a legal obligation for the employer to prevent sexual harassment and disciplinary measures for perpetrators. Better Work Vietnam took steps to address this issue across their supply chains:
♦ Introduced the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) programme, which was well-received by participants.
In collaboration with an international brand, we conducted POSH workshops with management, factory staff and union representatives and put in place POSH policies and procedures in over 80 factories.
♦ The buyers forum hosted a panel with CARE, Marie Stopes
and the IFC to share their experiences of improving women’s health and lives and increasing factory productivity in the clothing and footwear industry.
♦ A series of industry seminars on healthcare for pregnant and nursing workers were organised for factories in the programme to share best practices and prevent discrimination against female workers.