Rekha sits in a home in Bangladesh.

News / #ThisIsNotWorking

9 Women Share Stories of Workplace Abuse

At this momentous time in history, women around the world are breaking the secrecy and silence around sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace. Yet more than one third of the world’s countries have no laws prohibiting sexual harassment at work, leaving nearly 235 million women vulnerable in the workplace.

Read and learn from women who are bravely breaking the silence to share their experiences with the hope of ending the cycle of abuse.

Rekha sits in a home in Bangladesh.
Rekha, Bangladesh
“Supervisors would scold us and assault us. Management stepped in. Now I believe I could be promoted. I can make a better life for my children. I’m earning my living, but my children should do better than this.” Photo credit: CARE/Ben Morgan
Sara, a young Egyptian woman, said,
Sara, Egypt
“Whenever I was harassed, people said ‘You are shameless and insolent, you must have provoked him by the way you dress.’ When I found someone talking about harassment, I felt like I’d been in a cage and it finally broke open.” Photo credit: CARE
Naznin, wearing bright red and yellow, looks out the window.
Naznin, Bangladesh
“Out of fear, we kept our problems to ourselves. We never talked. But if we don’t share our problems with other people, how can anyone understand what we’re going through? If we don’t talk to each other, how will the problem be solved?” Photo credit: CARE
Maly, an infirmary nurse, stands in the Cambodian factory where she works.
Maly, Cambodia
“As the factory nurse, I've seen many inappropriate actions. Men say they are just joking. Most women are embarrassed to openly discuss harassment. And they hate confrontation. When they do ask, many pretend to ask for a friend.” Photo credit: CARE/Kate Adelung
Arunny, a Cambodian domestic worker, looks at the camera.
Arunny, Cambodia
“Men say things like, ‘Look at that white skin, why do you look so tempting?’ When I report them, managers tell me my co-workers are just being friendly. They say, ‘Don’t take it seriously! They are just kidding with you.’” Photo credit: CARE/Kate Adelung
Alicia Lanchimba at her home in the Quitubo Grande Community near Cotacachi, Ecuador.
Alicia, Ecuador
“I would work from 6 in the morning to midnight. They didn’t pay me, so I couldn’t leave. My employer and his brother told me I needed to have sex with them in order to get paid. I said no but they kept pressuring me.” Photo credit: CARE/Heidi Natkin
After only a few months at her job at a garment factory, Bopha has already been insulted, harassed, and assaulted.
Bopha, Cambodia
“A co-worker said to me, ‘Why do you dress like that? Don't even try to put on makeup. You are ugly and you will remain ugly.’ When I finally told him to stop, he laughed it off and told me not to be too serious.” Photo credit: CARE/Kate Adelung
A woman's profile covered in shadow.
Elizabeth, Ecuador
"My employer and his son would constantly harass me. When I told my aunt what was happening, she didn’t believe me. She said I was lazy and that I was making it all up because I didn’t want to work." Photo credit: CARE
Rotha, wearing a bonnet and blue cardigan, looks at the camera. Behind her, a group of women are hard at work in a Cambodian garment factory.
Rotha, Cambodia
“I don't like being touched or flirted with. I'm not scared anymore. I want the workers to know what's appropriate and what's not, what's harassment and what's not.” Photo credit: CARE/Kate Adelung
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9 Women Share Stories of Workplace Abuse


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