Dignified Work - CARE
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Dignified Work

A Cambodian woman wearing a green long-sleeved shirt looks at the camera with a hand on her hip. Behind her, the interior of a garment factory is visible.

Women want to earn income as equals. But they face many barriers in the workplace and at home.

These can be issues they face at work, such as unequal working conditions, and challenges outside of the ‘workplace’, including in their homes, in their communities, and during their commute. These all have an impact on their ability to stay in work, the conditions of their work, and whether they benefit from the money they earn.

From domestic workers to those employed in the garment industry, CARE works around the globe to ensure women can access dignified work opportunities.

of garment workers globally are women

of garment workers globally are women

CARE aims to empower 8 million women garment workers through dignified work by 2021

Highlighted Dignified Work Programs

Social and Economic Transformation of the Ultra-Poor (SETU)

The SETU project was designed as a seven-year intervention to sustainably graduate 45,000 extreme poor households out of poverty.

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OIKKO

OIKKO supported a strong and united civil society to promote the implementation of fundamental labor rights in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh.

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Made by Women — Garment Factories in Asia

We want to ensure garment workers are respected at work and their voices are heard.

CARE has the ambitious goal of economically empowering 8 million women garment workers through dignified work by 2021. Why? Because the garment industry is an important employer in Asia and around the world, but women workers are disproportionately represented in the most vulnerable, marginalized, low paid and impoverished forms of work in the industry.

CARE has been working with the garment industry for more than 20 years and we have already had a positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of workers.

By promoting improved practices in global supply chains, strengthening women’s leadership and working with governments to promote public policies which will positively impact workers, we aim to support meaningful change across the garment industry in Asia. We do this by engaging with workers and worker organizations, factories, brands, industry associations, governments and civil society partners in Asia, and we are increasingly working in new sourcing countries such as Ethiopia.

So what changes do we want to see? We want to ensure workers’ rights are protected so they are safe from violence and exploitation. We want to support women to voice their concerns and work together to access their rights at work. We want supply chains to be more ethical and transparent so all workers within them are respected and protected.

CARE’s Response to the Impact of COVID-19 in the Garment Sector

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on garment workers is devastating. The International Labour Organization estimates that nearly 25 million jobs could be lost as a result of the pandemic and the future of the industry is uncertain. A recent rapid assessment of women garment workers by CARE Bangladesh found that 39% of workers are facing food shortages or crises, and many fear loss of jobs and salaries while a similar assessment by CARE Cambodia found that 88% of workers have reported that their income has reduced as a result of COVID-19.

CARE is now focused on protecting the rights and needs of women in the garment sector across our country portfolio in Asia and Africa. Our response efforts focus on supporting women workers to adopt COVID-19 prevention strategies, to access support services – including health but also psycho-social, sexual health and GBV services – and receive much needed financial support for themselves and their families, including through cash transfers. In addition, we are aligning our work with global efforts, including endorsement of the COVID-19 Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry and the Civil Society Shadow European Strategy for Sustainable Textiles, Garments, Leather, and Footwear. It is critical that we respond to the immediate needs of women workers, but also lay the groundwork for recovery.

Made by Women - Programs and Initiatives

Preventing Violence and Harassment at Work

Garment factory managers in Asia are taking action to make women feel safer at work.

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Empowering Women to Take the Lead

Women employed in garment factories in Bangladesh are becoming leaders at work and in their communities.

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Industry Engagement

We supported adoption of the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment, a global law focused specifically on preventing violence and harassment in the workplace.

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Resources

Made by Women: Impact Overview 2019

Made by Women works to change the lives of female garment workers in Asia. This report reviews the impact of Made by Women's work and partnerships from 2016-2019.

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Made by Women: Impact Report 2019

This report gives an updated snapshot of the working environment for women in the garment industry, outlines our impact to date, and highlights significant achievements in 2018-19.

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Domestic Workers — Women’s Rights in Latin America

CARE has established partnerships in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Guatemala, and more recently in Mexico, Colombia, and Honduras. These partnerships engage in research, exchange of experiences, communications strategies, coalition building, and networking and capacity building, with the goal of influencing public policies, strengthening their organizations, and improving the lives of more than 10 million domestic workers across the region by 2030.

Read more about our work with domestic workers in Latin America

Preventing Violence and Harassment at Work

We supported adoption of the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment, a global law focused specifically on preventing violence and harassment in the world of work which was formally adopted at the International Labour Conference in June 2019.

Read more about our work with the ILO Convention

Resources - Industry Insight

Dignified Work: Crucial for Women’s Empowerment

Learn more about Dignified Work and our response to the impact of COVID-19 in the garment sector on CARE Insights, CARE’s information hub with in-depth research and commentary on key issues affecting women.

Read more on CARE Insights

Rapid Analysis: How Are Female Garment Workers in Bangladesh During COVID-19?

A rapid needs assessment with female garment workers in Bangladesh has found that 39% of workers are facing food shortages or crises, and many fear loss of jobs and salaries.

Read more on CARE Evaluations

‘I know I cannot quit.’ The Prevalence and Productivity Cost of Sexual Harassment to the Cambodian Garment Industry

CARE’s research estimates sexual harassment has a cost to the industry in Cambodia of as much as USD 89 million per annum. (March 2017)

Read the full report

What works? Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Rapid Review of Evidence

CARE completed a review of promising practices to drive an evidence-based approach to reducing sexual harassment in the garment industry. (November 2018)

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Sexual Harassment and Garment Manufacturing in the Mekong: Legal Frameworks

CARE’s report outlines the legislative or regulatory frameworks on or related to sexual harassment in the workplace, both at national and international levels, with particular focus on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

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This Is Not Working: Stopping Sexual Harassment in Workplaces Across our Region

CARE Australia’s report on violence and harassment in the world of work that outlines the key arguments for the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention. (April 2018)

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This Is Not Working: A Global Opportunity for Change

CARE Australia’s report on violence and harassment in the world of work that outlines the key arguments for the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention. (March 2019)

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Fashion Transparency Index 2019

CARE contributes to Fashion Revolution’s annual transparency index, which assesses factors ranging from traceability to spotlight issues such as gender equality.

Read the report on Issuu

Fashion Transparency Index 2018

CARE contributes to Fashion Revolution’s annual transparency index, which assesses factors ranging from traceability to spotlight issues such as gender equality.

Read the report on Issuu

Resources - Effective Solutions

Manufacture of Non-Medical Facemasks: Technical Guidance

See technical guidance developed by CARE Myanmar with the Aung Myin Hmu project for the production of washable, non-medical facemasks aligned with CDC guidelines, both to ensure local supplies of personal protective equipment and to provide cash for work opportunities for women.

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Manufacture of Non-Medical Facemasks: Instructional Video

See the instructional video developed by CARE Myanmar with the Aung Myin Hmu project for the production of washable, non-medical facemasks aligned with CDC guidelines, both to ensure local supplies of personal protective equipment and to provide cash for work opportunities for women.

Watch the video on YouTube

Made by Women: Impact Report 2019

This report gives an updated snapshot of the working environment for women in the garment industry, outlines our impact to date, and highlights significant achievements in 2018-19.

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Made By Women: Impact Report 2018

This report gives an updated snapshot of the working environment for women in the garment industry, outlines our impact to date, and highlights significant achievements in 2017-18.

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Made by Women: Impact Report 2017

Each year Made by Women publishes a report on the impact of CARE’s efforts to promote dignified work for women in the garment industry. Read to learn more about our achievements to date, programs which are leading to positive change, and how our partnerships are increasing our impact.

Read the report on CARE Insights

OIKKO Outcome Harvest

In 2018, CARE’s Made by Women strategy commissioned an outcome harvesting evaluation to help understand the range of outcomes achieved by OIKKO. This report documents the key features of the harvest design and provides detail on the process and its limitations.

Read the report on CARE Evaluations

The EKATA Model: Supporting workers to take action

The EKATA model has been tested and developed by CARE Bangladesh to promote collective empowerment of women. It has been tailored to promote workers' rights to encourage women's leadership and empowerment within the garment industry.

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Addressing sexual harassment: CARE’s solution for the garment industry

CARE’s ongoing engagement with factories in South-East Asia has led to development of a high-quality package of tools for improving organizational compliance on sexual harassment.

Learn more on CARE Australia's website