Knowledge-sharing experience between Indonesia and India

On 27-31 January, 2020, representatives from Fair Wear and Indonesian stakeholders embarked on a knowledge-sharing trip to India. The aims of the trip were to exchange knowledge on the role of employers in preventing and remediating gender-based violence (GBV) in garment factories, to discuss effective lobby and advocacy strategies on GBV in the workplace to influence laws and regulations and to lobby Indonesian government officials to effectively address and implement measures to prevent and remediate GBV.

Sultinah, from the Indonesian Cross-Factory Union Federation (FBLP) shared experiences on how sexual harassment had been handled in the Cakung industrial zone in Jakarta. FBLP initiated a strike in 2012 as a means of pressuring factory management to dismiss a supervisor who had sexually harassed workers in the factory. Four years after that, a big banner was installed in front of the industrial zone. FBLP was also able to establish a place to submit complaints, called ‘Women Workers Advocacy Posko.’ FBLP is active in ongoing discussions and campaigns via Marsinah FM Radio. Sultinah expressed wishes that this experience could be replicated in India.

This story was shared in the offices of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Delhi, 29 January 2020. It was part of an activity during the ‘Study Excursion on Gender Based Violence at the Workplace,’ arranged by Fair Wear’s representatives in Indonesia. The visit involved the trade union Garteks, Ministry of Manpower, National Commission on Violence against Women, Apindo, NGO Perempuan Mahardika and CNV Internationaal.

‘In addition to learning and exchanging knowledge on lobby and advocacy on gender based violence, this visit can encourage businesses to prevent GBV in garment factories’, said Amalia Falah Alam, Country Representative Indonesia, Fair Wear. Garteks shared the challenges faced on the factory floor. Ary Djoko Sulistyo, Chairman of Garteks, said that they are pushing GBV to be part of negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

India has a Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2013 in place, placing India one step ahead of Indonesia. The experiences from India can hopefully encourage Indonesia to implement the Sexual Harassment Alleviation Bill.

Original article by Sonya Hellen in Bahasa, published in Kompas on 12 February, 2020.

Read more about Fair Wear’s work in Indonesia here.

Read more about Fair Wear’s work in India here.

Read more about Fair Wear’s work in preventing gender-based violence here.