A consortium comprising experts from the gender and tea sectors has united to unveil a groundbreaking report, shining a light on the underlying causes and multiple perilous risk factors associated with gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) for the women producing the tea that we all enjoy.
In the wake of the BBC Panorama exposé, “Sex for Work: The True Cost of our Tea,” which aired in February 2023, it became painfully evident that the hard-fought efforts to mitigate GBVH on tea estates had not been sustained over time. This consortium aims to address this critical issue head-on and calls for urgent measures to protect women tea workers from sexual exploitation. These risk factors exist throughout the tea producing world, not just in Kenya, or in Malawi where similar issues emerged in 2021.
The report, titled “Consent. Just consent. Then you can come to work,”(a direct quote from the exposé) scrutinises the challenges within the tea sector and collaborators, THIRST and Women Working Worldwide, alongside tea sustainability expert Michael Pennant-Jones, have pinpointed how GBVH enablers manifest specifically within the tea sector.
THIRST and Women Working Worldwide are grateful to Ahmad Tea, Aldi Nord, Fairtrade International and two anonymous sponsors for their financial support for this report.