Women represent the vast majority of garment workers, making up over three-quarters of the workforce worldwide. The garment industry offers women a chance to earn an income, obtain independence and become more active participants in social, economic and political spheres. However, the reality of their situation often falls far from the ideal. Research shows that women face discriminatory practices in the garment industry and many experience high levels of gender-based violence at work.
The new joint publication by ITCILO and Fair Wear Foundation: Gender-based violence in global supply chains: Resource Kit highlights the key issues still facing women in global garment supply chains.
- Global supply chains provide women with opportunities for paid work – but many women do not have decent working conditions.
- Women predominate in lower-skilled production jobs, whereas men predominate in higher-level jobs, managerial and supervisory positions.
- Women’s jobs are often concentrated in the lowest paid and most insecure parts of global supply chains, often working as temporary or seasonal workers.
- There is a heavy reliance on migrant, young, female labour – these are workers with the lowest bargaining power and little union representation.
- The precarious nature of women’s work in global supply chains makes them especially vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence.
For further information on women’s employment in global supply chains and for guidance on how companies worldwide can address gender-based violence, you can access the Resource Kit online here.