In other tea producing countries, such as Kenya, tea producers have been taking steps to address gender and GBV issues in the workplace. To address the complex and sensitive social sustainability issue of gender discrimination and violence, IDH convened producers, technical experts, and civil society organizations under the Gender Empowerment Platform (GEP) in 2017. Representing the majority of the companies in the Kenyan tea industry, the GEP has the ambitious goal to significantly reduce the occurrence of GBV, as well as to increase women’s empowerment in the Kenyan tea industry.
The Global Women Safety Framework in Rural Places (GWSF) is a framework developed by UN Women and Unilever that provides a pathway for investing in such programs and suggests how tea producers can set up systems suitable for their context to ensure safety of the women workers in the tea estates.
For gender equality and to ensure women’s safety, it is imperative that solutions are specific to the local context, workers – both women and men – are part of designing the solutions and that businesses across the supply chain are committed to investing in the solutions.
It is also essential that government, private sector, civil society and expert service providers come together to form a common agenda and commitment to address gender-based violence through policies and law implementation and effective response mechanisms.
Local government, community groups, youth, men and women all play a significant role in successful and sustainable prevention and addressal of gender-based violence.