Male Family and Community Support to Protest Workplace Sexual Harassment

This policy brief is based on research carried out in 2021 to understand young women domestic workers’ (DW) views on workplace sexual harassment (WSH) and compare their perspectives with the attitude of their fathers and husbands about their daughters/ wives working as DWs both in family and “bachelor” homes. The research took place within wider research on “The gendered price of precarity: Workplace sexual harassment and young women’s agency” funded by the British Academy. The research in Bangladesh was conducted by the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex.

The policy brief outlines the following recommendations:

1. There should be community-level services where young women are able to go for advice and counselling on how to deal with WSH and how to make complaints should they wish to do so.

2. Family members should be made aware that they have a role to play in supporting their wives and daughters to demand safe working environments and protest any misconduct.

3. Young domestic workers should seek to develop their confidence and capacity to speak out about any abuse they face, seek support from their families and seek redress for the harassment they have faced.

4. Orientation on the policies and legal provisions about workplace sexual harassment should be provided to employers and workers in both informal and formal sectors by local government representatives and local community organizations.

Authors: Manzur, Meem Maysha; Barua, Jyoti
Type: Policy Brief
Year: 2022