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18 Sep 2023

Caroline Downey (Women Working Worldwide), Sabita Banerji (THIRST) and Michael Pennant-Jones (independent consultant).

Risk factors for gender based violence in the tea sector

A consortium comprising experts from the gender and tea sectors has united to unveil a report which shines a light on the underlying causes and multiple perilous risk factors associated with gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) for women working on tea estates.

In the wake of the BBC Panorama exposé, “Sex for Work: The True Cost of our Tea,” which aired in February 2023, it became painfully evident that the hard-fought efforts to mitigate GBVH on tea estates had not been sustained over time. This consortium aims to address this critical issue head-on and calls for urgent measures to protect women tea workers from sexual exploitation. These risk factors exist throughout the tea producing world.

The report, titled “Consent. Just consent. Then you can come to work,”(a direct quote from the exposé) scrutinises the challenges within the tea sector and collaborators, THIRST and Women Working Worldwide, alongside tea sustainability expert Michael Pennant-Jones, have pinpointed how GBVH enablers manifest specifically within the tea sector.