Browse by Theme: Dignified Work

Women make up approximately half of workers in global value chains, yet their representation in leadership positions is poor. Through the FCDO-funded Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) programme – of which CARE is an alliance member – M&S is seeking to understand where the women leaders are in their value chains, what are the barriers holding them back, and how M&S can work with their suppliers to help more women progress. This blog shares some of the insights from our research so far.

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COVID-19 has become an unprecedented global crisis, affecting everyone - but not equally so. CARE International UK’s new study on COVID-19 and women’s economic justice and rights shows that women and girls are disproportionately affected by the economic effects of global pandemics, especially those in the poorest and most marginalised communities. Women working in garment factories have already lost their jobs, often their households’ only income, while the pandemic is exacerbating other families’ food insecurity. For those living in areas of conflict, COVID-19 is exacerbating an already terrible situation.

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COVID-19 has become an unprecedented and unpredictable global crisis. It is “a defining moment in human history”.  COVID-19 has affected everyone, but not equally so. The pandemic is exploiting and exposing deep structural inequalities in economies, health care systems, and societies around the world, with devastating and disproportionate effects on the most vulnerable people, particularly those who live in development and humanitarian settings. Single mothers working in garment factories have lost their jobs and households’ only income, while the pandemic is exacerbating other families’ food insecurity. For those living in areas where conflict has destroyed healthcare facilities, COVID-19 poses a uniquely terrible and acute danger.

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The garment industry employs 60 million workers around the world, nearly 75% of whom are women. The International Labour Organization has estimated that nearly 25 million jobs could be lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and women working in garment supply chains are particularly vulnerable. During this period of crisis, CARE is calling on brands, governments, supplier factories, trade unions and civil society to take action to protect the rights of women working in the garment industry.

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On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020, advocates for better labour rights, especially for women workers, have been celebrating a major achievement: there is now a new international labour standard that recognises everyone’s right to work free from violence and harassment. Yet nothing will change on the ground for working women and men until governments strengthen laws, and employers improve policies and practices.

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The Asia Pacific region has both the world’s largest proportion of workers in the working-age population and the world’s lowest unemployment rate. However, only 44.5 per cent of women are employed and for those who are working, access to dignified employment opportunities remains a challenge. Discussing the opportunities that exist to ensure the world of work is gender equal was the focus of the side event Transforming the Future of Work for Gender Equality at the recent Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing+25 Review in Bangkok.

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Social movements are a critical vehicle for change around the world, including in many countries where CARE operates. This Power Tool provides guidance on how CARE (and others) can engage in strategic partnerships with social movement actors. It is based on the work of CARE in Latin America and the Caribbean to promote dignified work for domestic workers and advance their rights. Available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.

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