Wrangler Vows to Fight Rape Culture in SA Factories
The has exposed widespread sexual abuse against female garment workers by managerial staff in Levi's, Wrangler, and The Children's Place factories in Lesotho.
Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), a labor rights group reported on the violations after discovering that factory managers coerced women to have sex with them, threatening that the workers would lose their jobs if they objected. Both local and international managers have been found guilty of this, as a Reuters report claims. The factories affected most are those with high female workers in the Levi's Wranger, and The Children's Place factories in Lesotho.
In addition to that, the women also experienced other forms of sexual harassment and gender-based violence on a regular basis. The abuse took place across three factories making jeans for the US brands, owned by Taiwan-based international jeans manufacturer, Nien Hsing Textile.
One female worker said; "All of the women in my department have slept with the supervisor. For the women, this is about survival and nothing else. If you say no, you won't get the job, or your contract will not be renewed."
The Global Fund for Women reports that 80% of garment makers around the globe are women. However, in Lesotho, garment manufacturing, with a focus on denim for export, has been the largest formal sector employer in the last thirty years.
WRC began to investigate the factories after several sources informed the body that the workers who sew, wash, sand, and add rivets to the blue jeans and other clothing were being abused by factory staff.