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Earlier this fall, FWF co-organised a roundtable meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh on the prevention of workplace violence against women, as part of FWF’s United Nations-supported Workplace Education Programme.
The meeting, held on 25 September, was designed to solicit input from stakeholders, and included trade unions, business associations, NGOs, legal aid organisations, the Dutch embassy and the International Labour Organisation. The event drew over 150 participants from a broad range of stakeholder groups. FWF’s local partners said the unexpectedly large turnout indicates a high level of interest in preventing workplace violence across a wide range of groups, as does coverage of the meeting in Bangladeshi media outlets.
The core elements of the project are trainings for factory staff and managers on preventing and remedying harassment, and on the development of worker-run anti-harassment committees. These committees will provide a mechanism for workers to resolve complaints with factory managers. Participants in the roundtable discussed a number of topics related to the implementation of the programme.
Key outcomes included a strong emphasis on the need for independent anti-harassment committees; the importance of including trade unions in the process; and several recommendations from legal groups on how to improve the functioning of the project.