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Workplace sexual harassment (WSH) is a widespread concern that threatens the livelihoods of farmworkers nationwide. In Washington, agriculture is a $49 billion cornerstone of the economy with approximately 160,000 farmworkers at peak times of the year. Women may represent as much as 1/3 of Washington’s farm workforce and it is estimated that 75-80% of women employed in the agricultural industry are victims of WSH.
What we’re doing to address it
We address sexual harassment prevention with a public health prevention framework to help to create a positive and health-promoting work environment. Our aim is to develop a 15-20 minute Sexual Harassment prevention video in English and in Spanish along with a facilitator’s guide and suggested discussion and interactive activities that best fit the agricultural work place. This video and curriculum will be designed specifically for farmworkers and an additional supplemental video aimed at growers/owners/supervisors.
We share the values you have in the industry to reduce the costs (financially to the industry, and physically/ emotionally to the workers), to support a healthy and productive work environment, and to avoid the dangers and damaging effects associated with sexual harassment. We remain committed to our ongoing work with farmworkers, supervisors, growers, lawyers and advocates to find solutions that make sense from within the industry and consulted a Video Advisory Committee on a quarterly basis. Members included EEOC, Equitable Food Initiative, WA Human Rights Commission, Migrant Clinician’s Network, Radio KDNA and Grower’s League of WA.
Value, Credibility, and Relevance: We know the rates of sexual harassment are much higher than those incidents reported. Our video (and companion curriculum for trainers/facilitators) can further support growers through the steps to reduce and address sexual harassment by highlighting what other growers have done. For farmworkers, we are creating a valuable worker-focused video that speaks their language, acknowledges their fears, answers their questions, and provides guidance about what behavior to expect in the agricultural workplace.
The video will also cover sexual harassment reporting processes that workers can expect at their workplace. This video-making process has been lengthy if only for its foundation in evidence-based research. We have interviewed over 70 farmworkers (men and women), 20 farm supervisors, and a handful of farmers/growers in the development of this video to make sure that our approach is top quality, highly relevant, and culturally-appropriate (worker culture and industry culture). All the scenes are developed with the agricultural workplace in mind, the language of workers is real, and we worked with four farmworkers as paid consultants to develop the initial script. We know what words such as "respeto" when said in the right way and context, will have the desired effect.
Our short video trailer highlights the promise of this training video & curriculum: https://vimeo.com/179345478/60047830f7
Partner with Us!
We need your help! Join organizations and donors such as the Washington Human Rights Commission, Equitable Food Initiative, Sea Mar, UW PNASH, UW Bothell, and others to help make this curriculum a reality in 2019. A culturally-relevant training video does not currently exist in the agricultural workplace. We need $31K to complete this video & curriculum, intended for national-distribution. Sponsors of any amount will receive recognition on the video credits and marketing. The final training and curriculum will be made available for free (to sponsors) or low cost to the agricultural sector.
Website: http://deohs.washington.edu/pnash/sexual_harassment Find us on Facebook (“like us”) at: https://www.facebook.com/harassmentinagriculture/ Contact: Dr. Jody Early – firstname.lastname@example.org (425) 352-5323