Browse by Theme: Dignified Work

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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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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Why is dignified work crucial for women’s economic empowerment? 

Dignified work enables the economic empowerment of women through promoting decent working conditions, tackling the barriers that women face to achieving equity in the workplace, and supporting women to take control over their wages and unpaid care work.

Women workers face many barriers to economic empowerment inside and outside of the ‘workplace’, including issues at work (such as unequal working conditions), in their homes and communities, and during their commute. These barriers all have an impact on their ability to stay in work, the conditions of their work, and the economic benefits of it for women. Dignified work promotes the economic empowerment of women workers in all spheres of their lives. Find out more in this Insights blog and this video.  

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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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