A living wage and the right to freedom of association and social dialogue are also closely tied to the fight for gender fair workplaces. Often jobs taken by women pay less than those taken by men, despite the level of skill that might be required.
A living wage would ensure that women are making enough to survive and not putting themselves in risky situations in order to pay the bills. Additionally, unions can be powerful actors in the fight against gender-based violence. They help ensure that the voices and concerns of women workers are heard and push for collective bargaining agreements that require the formation of workplace harassment committees and the adoption of policies to address gender-based violence.
A look at wider governmental frameworks is needed too, which is why Fair Wear works with international organisations like the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) to fight on behalf of workers. On 21 June 2019, we were proud to see the passing of a new ILO Convention on violence and harassment in the workplace. The new Convention establishes international agreements to protect workers across the globe, founded on the central tenant that all workers deserve a workplace free of violence and intimidation. While that may sound like an obvious sentiment, it’s one that was surprisingly hard to get all UN member states to openly support. This is because member states that ratify the treaty must then go on to prohibit violence and harassment in their national legislation, which in many countries, is still not yet required. Essentially, it means that all clothing brands must take action against violence in factories. Initiatives like these that tie together the public and private sector are an essential part of the fight as we move forward, because it’s all connected.When we invest in gender equality, we create a ripple effect of positive outcomes throughout societies.