Browse by Theme: Private Sector

Organisations thrive when management and employees have open communications and are able to discuss issues and develop solutions together. Investing in workers can lead to an increase in their productivity, reliability and quality of work. Most importantly, workers who have an effective voice within the workplace and around the issues affecting the wider community, can better protect their rights and achieve their potential. That’s why we’ve just launched a new partnership with Twinings to improve the lives and livelihoods of tea workers and so increase the sustainability of the tea value chain.

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The only good thing about the recent revelations over the yawningly wide gender pay gap at the BBC was the outrage. People felt it was morally corrupt and utterly unequal that women were paid less than men for doing the same job in the UK in 2017. We need to feel the same level of outrage about women’s staggering lack of economic empowerment globally. Without focusing more on the rights and equality arguments, decent work for women will remain out of reach.

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On Wednesday 6 September, business leaders and global experts will convene in London to discuss how the private sector can advance the 2017 recommendations of the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Why does it matter, and what will it mean for women – and for business?

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My colleagues and I have spent a considerable share of our time during the past few months in discussions with our private sector partners, figuring out a common ground to work together on women’s economic empowerment (WEE). It can be an exciting but also somehow frustrating process as the potential scope of WEE interventions and the business case are always extremely broad, but the resources to invest are limited. For that reason, prioritisation is paramount. Ahead of the session on Systems Change for Women’s Economic Empowerment: How to work with companies? on 24 May at the SEEP Network Learning Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Bangkok, here are some thoughts and lessons learned.

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Four years have passed since Rana Plaza collapsed, but are workers any safer? The short answer is yes, but there is still a lot of work to do to make sure their working conditions are truly safe and to ensure workers’ rights are respected across the board.

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Given DFID’s commitment to the Global Goals and to labour standards (eg support of the ETI, guidance within CDC), why doesn’t DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy talk about Decent Work?

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Demand for financial services from low-income groups is at an all-time high. Some of that demand is by informal savings and loans groups – including CARE’s 5 million Village Savings and Loan Association members – who want access to quality group bank accounts and mobile-based solutions. East Africa is leading the world in setting up informal savings groups and linking them to formal financial services. The recent East Africa Linkage Summit provided exactly the kinds of insights that other regions can learn from to scale up financial inclusion in 2017.

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