Vietnam: Nearly half of female garment workers experience violence & sexual harassment; Study finds link to brands' purchasing practices

Author: Kate Hodal, The Observer, Published on: 8 April 2019

"Revealed: women making clothes for west face sexual abuse", 7 April 2019

Female factory workers producing clothing and shoes in Vietnam – many probably for major US and European brands – face systemic sexual harassment and violence at work...

Nearly half (43.1%) of 763 women interviewed in factories... said they had suffered at least one form of violence and/or harassment in the previous year, according to a study by the Fair Wear Foundation and Care International...The abuse... ranged from groping and slapping to rape and threats of contract termination...

The research is the first to correlate violence and sexual harassment in garment factories with workplace factors endemic to the “fast fashion” industry. These include excessive overtime, low pay, long working hours and unrealistic production targets, imposed by often well-known brands...

The age, education and migrant status of the employee – as well as her type of contract – determined the level of abuse, with younger and better-educated women, as well as migrant workers, worse off...

Although the names of the factories and the brands they supply were kept secret to encourage participation in the study, there is a “strong likelihood” that they include European and US brands...

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