Fair Wear and Stanley/Stella tackling gender-based violence

Last week, Fair Wear Foundation together with brand Stanley/Stella participated in a panel discussion on gender in the development, government and the private sector at the Conferentie Internationale Samenwerking in the Hague, the Netherlands.

During the bi-annual conference, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs brought together Dutch diplomats working in development, with representatives from civil society and business to discuss new trends and insights. Sexual harassment was one of the important topics this year, focusing on the role of the ministry and the development sector, but also highlighting partner organisations like Fair Wear Foundation.

‘Our member brands want to be able to rely on a public sector in production countries that promotes responsible business practices rather than rewarding the slackers through a lack of legislation and/or implementation. The Strategic Partnership with the Ministry and CNV and FNV gives us the opportunity to invest in the lobby, advocacy and capacity building that’s needed to improve the regulatory environment in production countries.’ Alexander Kohnstamm – Executive Director, Fair Wear Foundation

FWF brand Stanley/Stella gave interesting insights into the role of the private sector in addressing gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace. Stanley/Stella is leading the way in demonstrating the important role of brands in creating a safe working environment within their supply chain. Together with FWF they are tackling gender-based violence in the workplace through best practices such as developing workplace harassment committees and training both workers and management to identify and address issues of sexual harassment and violence. View our short video to find out how Stanley/Stella is fighting back against gender-based violence in Bangladesh.

‘Gender based violence is—unfortunately—everywhere. In Asia, in Europe, in Bangladesh, in Belgium, in The Netherlands… Either you close your eyes to it, or you start acting. Anti-Harassment committees and the Fair Wear Foundation Workplace Education Programme on gender-based violence are concrete initiatives taken by the Stanley/Stella local team in Dhaka to empower women and give them a voice.’  Geert de Wael – Stanley/Stella

Gender equality and violence prevention is central to Fair Wear Foundation’s work, and is one of the three strategic pillars of the Strategic Partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dutch trade unions CNV and FNV. To read more about the FWF violence and harassment prevention programme read our report: ‘Breaking the Silence: The FWF Violence and Harassment Prevention Programme’.