Women's Leadership in Social Dialogue for Gender Equality in the Asian Garment Sector

Ending violence and harassment in the garment sector– what will it take?

As part of the Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia project, the ILO and its International Training Center (ITCILO) are holding a five-part webinar series to explore social dialogue-based solutions for advancing gender equality in the Asian garment sector. This webinar is the fifth and final webinar in the series.

The presentation from this webinar can be found here. In addition, the links to the webinar recording can be found in various languages below:
This webinar is free and open to everyone. Sign up here.
Languages: English with simultaneous interpretation into Burmese, Indonesian, Khmer, and Vietnamese. Bahasa Indonesia - Tiếng Việt - ဗမာ - ខ្មែរ
The issue of sexual harassment and workplace violence are a risk to all sectors, including the garment sector. Approximately 80 per cent of workers in the garment sector are female. Most are young and some are migrants, attributes that put them at higher risk to sexual harassment due to unequal power relations. This risk is even higher due to the COVID-19 context.

Evidence of sexual harassment has been widely documented in this sector. For instance, Better Work (ILO-IFC) surveys at the factory level find a strong prevalence of sexual harassment across several countries.

Violence and harassment can negatively impact workers’ well-being, workplace relations, enterprise reputation and productivity. Therefore, many stakeholders have taken concrete actions to protect garment workers from harassment through policies, codes of conduct and other measures.

Still, there is generally a lack of adequate mechanisms to prevent and address violence and harassment and ensure access to safe, fair and effective reporting and dispute mechanisms and ensure women workers’ access to justice. 

The new ILO Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190 and the accompanying Recommendation No. 206, recognise the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment including gender-based violence and harassment.

These landmark instruments set out a common framework to prevent and address violence and harassment, based on an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach.

This webinar will provide attendees with the opportunity to become familiar with the key concepts as well as policy and workplace responses related to tackling violence and harassment in the garment sector.

Key questions

•    How prevalent is violence and harassment throughout the garment sector and what are its impacts?
•    What policies and practical measures can companies utilise to prevent and address violence and harassment in the workplace? 
•    How can ILO frameworks and Convention No. 190 offer support for workers?


  • Ms. Joni Simpson, Senior Specialist, Gender, Equality and Non-Discrimination, International Labour Organization: Ms. Simpson provides technical guidance and support to Governments, Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations (ILO Constituents) and partners on key gender equality issues, non-discrimination and women’s economic empowerment approaches. This addresses policies and programmes relating to ensuring equal opportunity, closing key gender gaps, addressing non-discrimination, women’s representation and leadership, as well as diversity inclusion. Ms. Simpson has over 20 years promoting women’s entrepreneurship and leadership – and was previously ILO’s Global Coordinator & Specialist in Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Entrepreneurship Education.
  • Ms. Ei Shwe Yi Win, Program Director - CARE International: Ms. Ei Shwe Yi Win is a Program Director at CARE International in Myanmar. She has been working with CARE for more than 13 years and currently heads the portfolio of work in urban areas, managing multiple projects focused on supporting women and girls in the areas of economic empowerment, living a life free from violence and harassment, building social and economic resiliency and developing women’s voice and leadership. She has particular expertise in addressing issues of violence and harassment against women and girls, leading evidence-based advocacy to encourage changes in national law, policy and practice, as well as workplace awareness raising and public campaigns. Working with tri-partite constituents and relevant stakeholders under partnership approach is also one of her key responsibilities. She holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Mahidol University, Thailand and a bachelor’s degree in Paramedical Science from University of Medical Technology, Myanmar.


  • Ms. Anna Lee Fos-Tuvera, Director of Gender Equality Activities - International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific 
  • Ms. Hang Le, Executive Director - Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment

About the project

The Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia project aims to bring together knowledge and insight from across the garment sector in Asia, and enhance regional action and industry coordination to drive decent work and sustainability goals.

With a core focus on four key areas - social dialogue, gender equality, productivity and environmental sustainability - the project will shine a light on the approaches that drive effective change. The project is implemented by ILO with financial support from the Government of Sweden (Sida).

Webinars form part of a wider Women’s Leadership in Social Dialogue in the Garment Sector programme.  This six-month programme is designed to support emerging female leaders from across the sector in Asia in their efforts to advance gender equality through effective social dialogue. With an initial intake comprising representatives from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, the programme consists of a mixed learning model with 5 online modules and 6 live webinars, together with discussion forums and coaching. The German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH also sponsors participants in the programme.