Responding to COVID-19 in the Garment Sector - CARE

Responding to COVID-19 in the Garment Sector

Background

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on garment workers is devastating. CARE’s assessments of women garment workers in countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam found more than 90% of workers had to cut their spending on food and other essential goods. CARE Cambodia found that 88% of workers have reported that their income has reduced as a result of COVID-19. Women are particularly affected by reduced incomes; in Vietnam the rate of rate of income decline among female workers was 1.5 times higher than that of male workers.

Intervention

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.

Resources

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

Rapid Analysis: How are Female Garment Workers in Cambodia During COVID-19?

A rapid needs assessment with female garment workers in Cambodia suggests 50% of suspended or laid-off workers were living below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day at end of May 2020.

Read more on CARE Evaluations

Rapid Analysis: How are Female Garment Workers in Vietnam During COVID-19?

An in-depth impact assessment found only 11% of workers reported their work had resumed to pre-pandemic levels by August 20.

Read more on CARE Evaluations

Rapid Analysis: How has COVID-19 affected women in the Mekong region?

This Rapid Gender Analysis summarizes CARE’s research to understand women’s specific challenges in the Mekong region during the pandemic.

Read more on CARE Evaluations

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.

Read more

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