In Depth
Dignified work

Dignified work

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

The well-established notion of Decent Work focuses on the workplace and social protection for workers. CARE’s concept of Dignified Work goes beyond this to include access to work - because women face many issues beyond employer discrimination (such as the burden of unpaid care) before they can have the same access to work as men do; and the issue of women's control over the use of their wages and assets. Find out more in this Insights blog by Gerry Boyle and this video by Joe Sutcliffe.  

Read more

Blogs See all

COVID-19 and the garment industry: Protect workers, transform the industry
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…
Ending workplace violence and harassment – significant progress but no time to rest on our laurels
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…
Transforming the future of work for gender equality: What’s happening in Asia?
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…
Sexual harassment in the garment industry: What happens when you bring people together to look at solutions rather than problems?
“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…

Publications See all

Social Movements Power Tool
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…
CARE International Women’s Economic Empowerment Impact Report 2018
Women still have fewer economic rights, less access to economic opportunities and less control over economic resources than men due to a range of social, legal and political inequalities. Women’s…
Made by Women 2018 Impact Report: Promoting dignified work for garment workers in Asia
CARE has the ambitious goal of economically empowering 8 million women garment workers in Asia through dignified work by 2021. Learn more about our impact and stories of change in…
CARE evidence to the International Development Committee Inquiry into the DFID Economic Development Strategy
CARE's written evidence to the IDC argues that DFID’s Economic Development Strategy has an inadequate focus on gender and therefore will not deliver outcomes for women, companies and economies.


Find out how CARE has supported Sonya, a garment worker in Bangladesh, to claim her rights to dignified work.

You might also be interested in...

Fashion Transparency Index 2018 – find out how the biggest global fashion brands are doing on transparency about 'who made my clothes' – a crucial step towards dignified work in the fashion industry (answer: not very well, but getting better)

New study shows 'fast fashion' continues to risk garment workers' health and well-being – report on research by University of Sussex

Building alliances to end gender-based violence at work – blog by Tula Connell at

10 things to know about the global labour force – ODI briefing paper by Amina Khan, including key stats about gender inequality in the labour market

Five Innovations at SEWA’s (Self-Employed Women’s Association) New Worker Empowerment Centres – blog by Laura Alfers on WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) website


Resources and links

United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The Ethical Trading Initiative's code of labour practice and its resources for companies, trade unions and NGOs interested in promoting respect for workers' rights

International Labour Organization (ILO) website and information about the Decent Work Agenda

International Trade Union Confederation website

Search Inclusive Business online database

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre website

WIEGO: Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing website