Browse by Theme: Dignified Work

Co-authored by Hester Le Roux and Siddikur Rahman

As the Generation Equality Forum kicks off in Mexico City this week, we pause to reflect on all the challenges women still face on the road to equality and equity – especially given wide recognition that the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women disproportionately, threatening to set back the gender equality agenda by years, if not decades.

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The Made by Women strategy seeks to ensure women in the garment industry have access to decent jobs, are free from violence and harassment and can give voice to their rights at work. Engaging with women, businesses, governments and civil society partners across the supply chain, this area of work focuses on addressing some of the most fundamental barriers to women accessing their rights in the garment industry. Learn more about Made by Women's impact to date in 2020 and our focus for the future. 

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2020 saw the greatest challenges the garment industry – and its workers – have faced. At the end of five years of intense focus on the rights of women working in garment supply chains, CARE’s Made by Women strategy reflects on what has – and has not – changed for workers.

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“It makes both moral and business sense to be a leader in addressing the problem of gender-based violence and harassment.” These were the words of Scott Deitz, Founder of Convene Communication Strategies and former Vice-President at VF Corporation, as he opened the recent Learning Summit organized by CARE and Better Work.

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“I felt humiliated and could not focus on my work after I was harassed by my co-worker. I decided to report to the sexual harassment prevention committee because I trust them.” Pha*, a garment worker in Cambodia, is employed by a factory which has been working with CARE to improve how they respond to reports of workplace sexual harassment. We helped them build an environment where gender-based violence is not tolerated and women are more confident to report incidents of abuse.

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By Huong Hoang and Céline Mias

The global fashion industry is one of the most female-dominated industries in the world. It is a goliath of an industry which includes the textile, clothing, and footwear sectors, which is estimated to employ about 60 million to 75 million people, 80% of which are women. Although countless women are behind this US$2.4 trillion industry which, if it were a country, would be the world’s seventh-largest economy, women workers are disproportionately represented. They are, in fact, found heavily concentrated in the most vulnerable and marginalized positions in the industry where they work for poverty wages and under harsh conditions. These women workers often face gender discrimination, exploitation and suffer from the impact of violence and harassment not just in the workplace but in their homes and on their way to and from work.

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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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