Across many global supply chains, including agriculture, healthcare, garment, and toys, women make up the majority of workers. 190 million women are employed in global supply chain-related jobs, 60-90% of jobs in the labor-intensive stages of the clothing & fresh-produce global supply chains in many countries are women. However, the realities they face and their contribution are largely invisible.
Today’s supply chain systems do not adequately address their rights and needs.
- Wages: Women are paid less than men for the same work or work of equal value, receive fewer bonuses, and are more often paid by the hour. A man with the same experience and educational background can expect to make 41% more than his female counterparts in the garment industry in Bangladesh.
- Harassment: Women regularly face verbal and physical sexual harassment. 1 in 5 countries do not have appropriate laws against sexual harassment in employment. 55% of women in the EU experienced sexual harassment at least once, of these 32% at work.
- Voice: Women face gender-based exclusion, retaliation, or self-censorship when seeking to raise their voices with regard to their working environments. In Ethiopia, a HERproject baseline revealed 63% of women agreed with the statement, “I accept sexual harassment or violence against women as a consequence of being a woman.”
- Labor Conditions: Women are more often concentrated in informal labor sectors and are therefore more vulnerable to unfair employment practices. In China’s Guangdong province, young women endure 150 hours of overtime each month in the garment factories – but 60% have no written contract and 90% have no access to social insurance.
A lack of gender data is a barrier to understanding the needs, priorities, and conditions millions of women in supply chains face and to ensuring they are protected and empowered. The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said, “Only 21% of the data needed to monitor the gender-related SDG targets are currently available. This means that there are critical blind spots for gender policymaking.” Therefore, minimizing the gap in data is critical. As Melinda Gates said, “We can’t close the gender gap without first closing the data gap.”
In order to minimize the gender data gap, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has created a framework to collect gender disaggregated data to better understand the needs, perspectives, priorities, and conditions of millions of women in supply chains and to ensuring they are protected and empowered.
To that end, the Global Compact Network Bangladesh in partnership with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) successfully organized a consultation on BSR’s Gender Data Framework with participants from both the public and private sector to collect valuable inputs and insights into the draft framework that will be used to enhance and refine it for better outcomes.