A Young Mother on Workplace Harassment and Her Fears for Her Daughter

Arunny quit school in 7th grade to go to work. Now a mother and garment factory worker, she is no stranger to sexual harassment at work.

Trigger Warning – This story contains information about sexual assault and harassment which may be triggering to survivors.

Like millions of women in Asia, Arunny chose to work in garment factories because of the promise of a regular income. The days are often long and the work is strenuous. Workers often share their earnings with their families, supporting their own children, elderly family members, and relatives who cannot find steady employment.

“Sometimes men at my work say things like, ‘Look at that white skin, why do you look so tempting?’ When I report them, managers tell me that my co-workers are just being friendly. Managers don’t understand sexual harassment, they say, ‘Don’t take it seriously! They are just kidding with you.’’’ I have a 3-year-old daughter. Based on my experience, I can’t predict what’s going to happen to her. Even when she is an adult, I’ll still worry about her. It’s hard to let her go. There’s no way for me to know if someone might harass her.”

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