Van Den Berg RoseS
Gender-based violence is a central focus for Van Den Berg RoseS and their gender-focused committees conduct assessments that identify and assess where their biggest issues are and how they should solve them. Berg RoseS not only fulfils Step 2: Identify and Assess Averse Impacts but most of the other steps of the Gender-Responsive Due Diligence process.
Berg RoseS was a part of the Women@Work Campaign, a ground-breaking programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They partnered with civil society organisation like to help Kenyan flower farms to be more gender-responsive. Workers’ Rights Watch has played a large role in assisting Berg RoseS with their gender equality commitments. The introduction of gender committees and multiple gender-responsive polices, such as the anti-sexual harassment policy, are all a result of this partnership. The Berg RoseS’s gender committee has received intensive training from Workers’ Rights Watch so that they can conduct assessments and investigations themselves going forward.
The gender committee, with the support of Workers’ Rights Watch, first scoped where gender-specific risks are in the farm. This is done through workshops and questioning of workers to identify what they deem to be gender-based violations and whether there are any misconceptions on what constitutes harassment. This data collected in combination with any reported instances are used to carry out investigations into these adverse risks. This is done on a general and case-specific basis in order to assist with specific issues but also to ensure that the company is remaining accountable for any involvement in gender inequality. After all of these assessments are consolidated then they go further than Step 2 of the GRDD process and start implementing, Step 3, as well as tracking this implementation, Step 4.
“The Berg RoseS’s gender committee has received intensive training from Workers’ Rights Watch so that they can conduct assessments and investigations themselves.”
There are numerous successes to these measures:
- All cases of sexual harassment and other gender-based violence get fully investigated by the committee.
- If the case gets withdrawn, then the gender committee still assesses the situation because complaints are generally withdrawn due to stigma, so the committee want to ensure that the issue is addressed and not ignored.
- More disciplinary action is taken against perpetrators.
- Berg RoseS employees report better working conditions and reduced cases of gender-based violence.
- Reduced absenteeism.
- There is an increased number of women in leadership positions as they are not frequently being harassed out of and overlooked for promotions.
“The establishment of gender committees has reduced cases of sexual harassment. These committees are made up of workers in the flower farms. They listen to cases on sexual harassment and resolve them.”
– Jedidah Kamau, a Naivasha flower farm worker
Application to other enterprises
Van Den Berg RoseS has followed most of the steps of the Gender-Responsive Due Diligence process. This makes them a great case study for other enterprises to model themselves after. They recognise that women workers make up majority of their workforce and without them their company would not be successful. This is why they have invested in the wellbeing and safety of their women workers by fully assessing the adverse risks they face and endearing to address them. Their commitment to gender equality can be furthered by continuing to fight gender inequality with robust gender-responsive strategies.