Garment Workers

Strengthening the Economic Resilience of Female Garment Workers during COVID19 – Phase 2

This is the End of Project Evaluation Report for the Strengthening the Economic Resilience of Female Garment Workers during COVID19 – Phase 2 (SER) Project which was implemented in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces. The Project commenced in July 2021 and concluded in February 2022. The goal of the project was to strengthen the economic resilience of female garment workers who are socially and economically marginalized in Cambodia to cope with the negative impacts of COVID-19. In order to conduct the evaluation, data was collected through a comprehensive literature review and fieldwork. The literature review was conducted reviewing reports and documents from the SER Project and also other relevant external publications. The evaluation interviewed 400 people and was conducted in January 2022.
• It should be noted that the project was not wholly a humanitarian type intervention project, which tend to have a short implementation period, rather the project had knowledge, capacity and resilience training elements which require a longer timeframe to implement. For this reason, as well as the delay to the start of the project and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, project staff were faced with a high workload within a challenging environment. Specifically, a longer time period would have given more time to prepare for project interventions such as the training, baseline and rapid situation assessment of the labour market. With more time the baseline and rapid situation assessment of the labour market could have been used to better tailor and inform the development of the training materials and curriculum.
• The focus on social protections in the project interventions was a relative new topic especially for factory workers, who are mostly only aware of the NSSF and the IDPoor. As highlighted as an unexpected result of the project, many project participants directing enquiries to local authorities about social protections. While local authorities are aware of social protections in general, they do not have detailed knowledge, especially since many social protections are administered at the national level and not at the village level. Therefore, more cooperation with local authorities should have been sought in order to prepare the local authorities for this situation.
• The delay in the signing the project’s administrative contract, caused the project to miss opportunities to use the findings of the baseline survey and the rapid situation assessment of the labour market to better inform the development of the project’s training activities.
• The evaluation found that while knowledge of GBV improved, the same was not the case for sexual harassment. Indeed, respondents who could not identify sexual harassment increased from 32% (114/356) at the baseline to 38% (139/362) at the endline. Project staff reported that this was not an unexpected finding as CARE’s previous sexual harassment projects had encountered similar such resistance to changing attitudes.

Migrant Women Mini-survey on Sexual Harassment Aung Myin Hmu Project: Industry Solutions for Safe Employment

This AMH project aims to provide safe work opportunities for migrant women by working with the private sector and the government to provide in demand vocational training and job matching while ensuring that women can access appropriate social and protection services.
The study follows up with the project measurement framework to simplify and better visualize the below project indicators.
1) HLO2.2 % of migrant women who report experiencing discrimination and abuse in public and/or at the workplace
2) HLO 2.4 % of women who report feeling safer due to SH awareness activities and existence of complaint mechanism
3) IO 2.2.3 % of women report experiencing sexual harassment at their workplace

Enhancing Women’s Voice to STOP Sexual Harassment Final Evaluation – Myanmar

The Enhancing Women’s Voice to Stop Sexual Harassment project (STOP), an initiative of CARE Australia, has been working since 2017 to prevent and address the under-reported problem of sexual harassment (SH) in mainland Southeast Asia’s garment sector.
At the time of writing, STOP is the only initiative that addresses this issue on a multi-country scale within the sub-region. Operating across a pool of garment factories in four Mekong countries—Cambodia, Lao PDR1, Myanmar and Vietnam—STOP aims to enhance women’s voice and economic rights at both the national and factory levels. Based on a socio-ecological model of violence prevention, CARE Country Offices (COs) are working with participating factories to create workplaces where female workers feel safe and experience less SH through the implementation of standardised SH reporting mechanisms and rigorous training programs. Supported by CARE Regional staff, each CARE CO engages with relevant country, regional and international stakeholders to strengthen the national regulatory environment to promote laws, policies and mechanisms to address SH in the workplace.
In 2018, CARE Australia commissioned a consortium of researchers from UNSW Sydney and UNSW Canberra to undertake an independent evaluation the STOP project and provide a separate Social Impact Assessment (SIA) focused on Cambodia STOP as the particular case study. It is important to note that the SIA is intended to complement the findings of the Final Evaluation (FE) of the STOP, as implemented in the other three project sites. In this way, the SIA and the Final Evaluation should be read as two parts of a single whole.
The STOP project is evidence-based. This strength of evidence is reflected in the rapid review of evidence first published by CARE (Campbell and Chinnery 2018) in November 2018, which provides a comprehensive discussion of how to prevent and respond to SH in the workplace. The continued inclusion of evidence into the project cycle ensures that the STOP project is built on current best practice.
This report provides an overview of Final Evaluation findings of the full STOP project and evaluation findings relating to the STOP project in Myanmar. Read More...

Worker Wellbeing Project in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam Endline Evaluation

This endline evaluation was conducted to assess change and impact resulting from the Worker Wellbeing Project in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam. It was carried out independently by Rapid Asia to conduct an endline evaluation of the Worker Well-Being Project to provide a final report to the donor, capture details on impact and analyse lessons learned to be applied to future programming. The purpose of the Worker Wellbeing Project is to improve wellbeing for garment workers through access to dignified working conditions, legal and social protections and gender-equitable relationships. Findings from the evaluation will also be used to learn from and develop the Dignified Work portfolio and promote women's economic justice worldwide.

This evaluation sought to identify the extent to which the project achieved meaningful change in women workers’ lives both at home, community and in the workplace through the activities in each country by identifying outcomes from project activities and outputs to understand linkages between those outcomes and the projects outputs.

Key Findings
The EKATA engagement model
The EKATA model proved to be highly successful in greatly enacting change for women garment workers in the factories and at home. Women workers consistently highlighted the usefulness of the training had on their daily lives. Through the training, the women learnt how to reclaim those voices and negotiate at work for better conditions.
Engagement with men
Recognising the crucial role that men play in delivering gender-transformative impac by engaging them as stakeholders proved to be successful. Men were found to be receptive in recognising gender as a social construct, which then formed the basis for understanding the value of women and why domestic responsibilities should be shared and that sexual harassment of women is unacceptable.
Duty bearers’ responsiveness
Garment factory management staff believed they could see not only the benefit of the project but also an improvement in the conditions of the women workers, which they recognised as having a positive impact on their business. Employers appeared to welcome women garment workers raising their concerns, mainly due to the workers' improved communication skills.
Outcomes and their relation to activities
Beneficiaries of EKATA training found the sessions on financial management, gender equality, labour rights, leadership and communication the most valuable and impactful in their daily lives. It was found however, that such training alone would not be enough to deliver true impact. Evidence demonstrated that establishing committees from where women can launch collective demands was a significant trigger to exercising women’s rights.
Project sustainability
There is great potential for women recognising labour violations and unfair practices, gender inequality, and the capacity to take action without a considerable reliance on outside support. Sustainability is also underpinned by network activities, namely the linking of community worker association to local federations and trade unions and local service providers. Read More...

Bersama Menuju Keadilan (BUKA) or Towards Fairness Together SELF-EVALUATION REPORT

Bersama Menuju Keadilan (BUKA) or Towards Fairness Together is a Yayasan Care Peduli (CARE) project which was implemented in West Java from July 2018 to October 2020.1 The project was implemented in Sukabumi and Bandung districts and was implemented by CARE and the Trade Union Rights Center (TURC). The project partnered with 7 trade unions in 21 factories across the two districts.
The goal of the project was to improve working conditions in garment factories in West Java through evidence-based negotiation and collective bargaining between unions and factory management using publicly available data. The project aimed to improve the capabilities of women garment workers and their unions to collect, analyse and use publicly available data in negotiation and collective bargaining with factories, resulting in particular in more gender-responsive Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA). The project was designed on the assumption that publicly-available data could be used as the basis for evidence-based negotiation and bargaining between unions and factories, and that this form of evidence-based bargaining based on public data would lead to more successful bargaining and improved working conditions. The project also aimed to ensure that the evidence-base, data and lessons learned from the project became accessible to the wider labour movement and civil society in Indonesia.
An emphasis on gender justice was mainstreamed within the project objective, outcomes and activities. Women constitute the majority of the garment sector workforce in Indonesia and they are disproportionately impacted by worker’s rights abuses and face differential impacts on the basis of their gender. Women are also inadequately represented within union leadership and in collective bargaining, resulting in their voices and experiences not being reflected in the outcomes of bargaining. The project prioritised building the capabilities of women union members in particular on data and bargaining skills, encouraging the presence of women within negotiation and bargaining teams, developing a peer network of women leaders, strengthening union understanding and identification of the disproportionate and differentiated impacts of poor working conditions on women, and supporting the agreement of CBAs which are more responsive to those realities. Read More...

COVID-19 impact on Vietnamese apparel and footwear workers: Workers’ Perspective

In April 2020, the Public Private Partnerships Cooperation Group for sustainable apparel and footwear sector in Vietnam, consisting of over 40 members from the Ministries of Industry and Trade Natural Resources and Environment, Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and VITAS, LEFASO, brands, development partners and domestic and international NGOs, conducted a comprehensive assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the apparel and footwear sector. The aim of the assessment was to seek solutions from policy perspectives, social security, sustainable economic development, environmental protection and the role of stakeholders in the supply chain to mitigate impacts of the pandemic. One of the key components of the assessment is this analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on AFS workers’ lives conducted by CARE and sponsored by TARGET and the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in
the Netherlands (CNV). This report also references findings from the qualitative research conducted by the Center for Development and Integration (CDI).
Purposes of the assessment of COVID-19 impacts on apparel and footwear sector workers:
1. To analyze the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ lives in the apparel and footwear industry across three major areas: economic, health, and society with a focus on gendered impacts and employment relation.
2. To identify the needs of AFS workers, especially female workers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. To provide recommendations to businesses, brands, associations, unions, governments and development organizations on supporting workers to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
The information and data included in this report represent the key findings of the COVID-19 impact
assessment study with specific policy implications for enterprises, trade unions and government. Read More...

2nd RAPID ANALYSIS How are female garment factory workers during COVID-19

CARE Bangladesh has conducted the mobile based 1st Rapid Analysis in April’20 to understand COVID-19 impacts on lives and livelihoods of female factory workers. That study reveals, 25% doesn’t know protection measures, 35% feels uncertain about salary, 35% faced food shortage, 28% were getting fear to loose job and 91% were suffering from anxiety. 2nd Rapid Analysis is a follow-up survey on the same target group keeping the same objective, looking into more deep-dive issues. Read More...

The Double Day: Exploring unpaid work and care for female garment workers in Bangladesh

The UK Government funded Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) Programme is a five-year initiative to enhance the economic empowerment of 300,000 women working in global value chains by 2022. WOW is delivered by a consortium comprised of BSR, CARE International, the University of Manchester, and Social Development Direct, and led by PwC.

WOW’s approach to reaching women workers is through partnerships with multinational companies and business initiatives to improve women’s participation in their supply chains. One such partnership is with a fashion retailer who expressed an interest in learning more about the unpaid care that female garment workers in their supply chains carry out—recognising it as a major barrier to women’s economic participation.

The WOW alliance entered into a collaborative partnership with the company to undertake original primary research into the unpaid work and care burden facing female garment workers in Bangladesh.
The research has been collated into an external report – The Double Day – launched in July 2020 by the WOW Alliance.

Final Report On End Line Study of Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls in Clothing Industry Project

Employing more than 2.5 million women (60%), the RMG sector in Bangladesh is one of the largest sources of employment for women. CARE Bangladesh and UN Women partnered to undertake the Promoting Women Worker’s Empowerment Project as a 5 months pilot to help workers, particularly women, develop their skills and experience and access leadership opportunities which may lead to career advancement, improved work environment for the workers. The study was undertaken with several objectives- (i) To identify the progress on knowledge, skill and aspiration of women RMG workers in the working factories from the baseline (ii) To identify the initiatives that Management of the working factories are planning for career Advancement for women RMG workers (iii) To examine the appropriateness of the career pathways that was identified in baseline and identify the further recommendations for career Advancement for women RMG workers (iv) Evaluating the project indicators to measure the progress of the project (v) Developing a learning brief on the Project from baseline and end line . Read More...


The COVID19 pandemic has severely impacted the garment industry in Cambodia. As of July 2020, over 400 factories have temporarily or permanently closed down and over 150,000 workers are out of work.1 The garment industry employs approximately 750,000 workers in Cambodia, 89% of whom are women.
CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis demonstrates the disproportionate impact that COVID19 has had on women in Cambodia and around the world. A lot of attention has been placed on the garment industry, but there is little detailed information available from the workers themselves on the impact of the pandemic and what support they need.
The objectives of this needs assessment are to:
• Better understand the needs of women garment workers during the COVID19 pandemic
• Develop evidence-based recommendations for CARE and civil society partners, workers’ organizations,
employers, brands and government stakeholders in Cambodia on how to best address the needs of women
garment workers during the COVID19 pandemic.

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