Protecting women and girls
Women form the majority of the workforce in tea gardens and smallholder farms, but are often at risk of discrimination, harassment and sometimes even violence. A key priority for us is to ensure that women in our supply chain live and work in a safe, positive and empowering environment where they can thrive. In 2018, we partnered with UNICEF to implement Phase 3 of our partnership to improve lives of women and children living in tea communities in Assam.
Since 2018, over 9,000 women have improved their health, or one of their family member's health
63 Tea Gardens in Assam were supported by the partnership
The Partnership has enabled women and children living in tea gardens in Assam, a safer environment which provides access to greater opportunities regarding education, social schemes and health services.
Since 2018 - 86,711 women have been educated on health issues and 6,366 girls have have participated in programmes on violence, child marriage and safer communities.
In addition, we are working to train tea estate management and build the capacity of worker committees in Assam and Darjeeling. As part of the training, we aim to empower workers to help prevent and respond to sexual harassment and gender-based violence, as well as to promote more gender-equitable attitudes and relationships in the community. We are also developing an online training module which will be rolled out across our supply chain.
While we aim to prevent gender-based violence, we also need to have the right approach in place to enable us to identify when a breach occurs. These issues are very difficult to uncover because victims can sometimes be too embarrassed to speak up or fear repercussions. In 2021, we piloted an add-on to our TCNA to find new ways to help us better identify gender-based violence or harassment incidents in our supply chain, for example through role play.
After attending meetings of her local Adolescent Girls Group, Hina convinced her parents she was not ready to be married and should complete her education.
Now a graduate, she attends computer classes in a nearby town, tutors schoolchildren from her community and aspires to be a beautician.