Browse by Theme: Value Chains

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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By 2030, the number of people living in poverty in fragile settings could rise to 620 million, or more than 80% of the world’s poorest people. CARE’s Resilient Market System work aims to make crisis-affected market systems more resilient, inclusive, and profitable, in particular to enable women to better absorb the shocks brought on by conflict or by natural disasters. This report aims to provide thought leaders and practitioners – from humanitarian and development programming – with insights and guidance for a strong market system approach, customised for fragile and conflict affected settings and targeting women and girls.

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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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The CEO Agenda 2019 was launched at DAVOS by a number of leading fashion brands, with support from Global Fashion Agenda. It’s good to see major brands trying to tackle the ethical and environmental challenges facing the sector – and society more broadly – but the experience of CARE and our partners in civil society and the trade union movement demonstrates a number of important gaps in this Agenda and limitations to what it can achieve in its current form.

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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 economic empowerment (WEE) is one of four priority areas for CARE’s work, as set out in the CARE 2020 Programme Strategy. This report articulates why and how we work to drive women’s economic empowerment, our reach and impact to date and some lessons we have learned along the way.

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In a politically volatile environment, CARE is working to implement Community Development Forums (CDF) in tea estates in Sri Lanka. The CDFs are delivered in partnership with the tea workers, estate management and trade union representatives and aim to break-down barriers to show how tea communities can collaborate to achieve social and business benefits. In December 2018 I travelled to Bandarawella to understand more about how CARE’s partnership with the tea company, Twinings is supporting the establishment of CDFs to deliver transformational change.

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