From left: Patricia Flores, Columbia Legal Services; Patty Diaz and Blanca Rodriguez, Northwest Justice Project; and Risha Foulkes, ACLU Women’s Rights Project, at the 2008 National Farmworker Law Conference in Washington, DC.
The AMPARO Project is a partnership between the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the ACLU of Washington State, the Northwest Justice Project, and Columbia Legal Services. AMPARO works cooperatively with community organizations from eastern Washington to advocate for the rights of female farmworkers.
The mission of the AMPARO Project is to eliminate, to the extent possible, workplace sexual harassment and sex discrimination experienced by women agricultural workers in Washington State. The goals of the project are: (1) to identify the legal issues that create barriers to women achieving economic justice in the agricultural labor force and to provide legal representation when appropriate; and (2) to educate and empower women about their right to be free from sexual harassment and sex discrimination in the workplace and create sustained awareness of strategies to address the adverse impacts of sexual harassment and discrimination against women in the agricultural workplace.
While sexual harassment is a serious problem affecting women in the fields – in a survey of farmworker women in California, 90% said that sexual harassment is a major problem – many workers and community advocates are not aware that such behavior is against the law. In addition, language and cultural barriers make women farmworkers less likely to report sexual harassment. However, advocates have found that when women learn about their rights and are offered culturally relevant support, they begin to speak out about the harassment that they and other women they know have experienced.
As part of our targeted community outreach, AMPARO produced a series of public service announcements and novelas (dramatizations) that have aired on local radio stations:
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