Browse by Theme: Dignified Work

CARE’s programmes on dignified work have for a number of years included training sessions for women in factories. Recent research provides further evidence, backing up our own findings, that investing in training for women workers makes good business sense for factory owners.

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Since starting an internship at CARE International UK in the Policy and Advocacy team, I’ve had the chance to support research on women’s economic empowerment programmes, with a specific focus on the ready-made garment sector in South East Asia. CARE’s broader role in training value chain workers in partnership with companies like Mondelez, establishing savings groups with women, and committing to a Dignified Work agenda, is crucial to tackling widespread injustice in global value chains across all industries. Researching ready-made garment value chains specifically has led me to re-evaluate some of my own shopping habits, and shown me that change has to come from consumers.

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CARE’s strategy on Women’ s Economic Empowerment includes a commitment to Dignified Work. Many of those who work on workers’ rights might question what we mean – how does this compare to the well-established notion of Decent Work, as exemplified by the ILO’s Decent Work agenda? How is Dignified Work different from Decent Work?

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The current UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment is highlighting the major attention being paid by governments, the development community and others to the importance of women’s economic empowerment to tackling poverty and ensuring women achieve the target of gender equality which the world has agreed to as Sustainable Development Goal 5.

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A new ILO report on trade agreements which incorporate labour standards points to rising women’s participation in the labour force and a reduced gender wage gap in the countries participating in those trade agreements – without any adverse effect on the ability of the trade agreement to boost trade between the signatories of the agreement.

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Global value chains can be a powerful lever for empowering women, but companies must identify where women work, must develop a clear gender strategy and must articulate the business case for supporting women.

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In Cambodia, employing women to promote and sell beer in entertainment venues has long been a common way to market beer brands (both regional and international). CARE International in Cambodia sought to address the stigma and safety issues facing women employed to sell beer by working with industry-wide stakeholders to change norms and practices, and achieve long-term impact at several levels.

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