Bandanas as Weapons
Bandanas raise awareness about farmworker sexual harassment
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Former farmworker Ramona Barajas paints a white bandana with striking images: blood drips into fields of strawberries; tears cry down from the sky. The central message: “Stop sexual harassment. No more.”
Barajas and other field workers today decorated the bandanas, which campesinas use to cover their face, as a kickoff for the Bandana Project. Starting Friday and continuing through the month of April, the bandanas will be on display in Salinas to raise awareness about sexual violence in the fields and encourage women to report misconduct to their employer.
Farmworker advocates say sexual harassment is pervasive in the agricultural workplace and often tolerated because supervisors threaten to fire or deport women who speak up, many of whom are undocumented. “Farmworkers are afraid to report problems because they are afraid their employer will retaliate against them,” says Paula Placencia, a coordinator with Lideres Campesinas.
The bandanas will be on display at the following Salinas locations:
April 3-14 and 22-27 at the CRLA office, 3 Williams Road.
April 9 and 23 at 2pm and April 28 at 5:30 pm at Sherwood Elementary School, 840 S. Main St.
April 14 and 20 at the Center for Employment Training (CET), 421 Monterey St.
April 15-22 at Viva Espresso, 1552 N. Main St. in Salinas