Browse by Theme: Dignified Work

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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“I’ve been doing this work for 30 years, so to come to a space like this and have everyone in the room start from a place of ‘we have a problem’ is powerful.” - Robin Runge, Senior Gender Specialist, Solidarity Center.

The safe space referred to above was the recent Business of Women at Work event, where more than 150 garment industry stakeholders from 10+ countries across Asia gathered to discuss solutions to the challenge of violence and harassment within supply chains.

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We want the women employed in the supply chains of the companies which make your clothes to have access to decent jobs free from violence and harassment and to be able to voice their rights at work. 

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CARE International and Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) are working together to improve how factories prevent and respond to sexual harassment. This collaboration illustrates the benefits of partnership between organisations who share similar goals.

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CARE has spent more than 20 years engaging with women employed in garment factories. As with many organisations working with the garment industry, worker training is an important component of any factory engagement. However, our evidence increasingly suggests that for changes to go beyond the individual level, training alone is not enough, and we need to support and enable workers so that they can collectively take action.

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