Global Fund for Women is are happy to announce their new collaboration with C&A Foundation and Gender at Work that hopes to stop gender-based violence and empower women garment workers in Asia.
Women comprise about 80% of the global workforce in the garment industry; an industry in which discrimination and violence against women are endemic. C&A Foundation will invest 1.5 million Euro for a multi-year learning collaborative with women’s rights organizations to advance gender justice in the apparel industry.
The collaboration will find, fund, and strengthen organizations working to end gender-based violence against women workers in South Asia, with a focus on major apparel sourcing countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The initiative will support women garment workers to learn about their rights, realize their own power to secure these rights, and become leaders to create systemic change, which is critical to preventing violence.
“We believe in the power of women to change their own lives and to drive sustainable change in the garment industry. Together, we can end gender-based violence, ensure safe and equal working conditions, and empower women workers. We’re thrilled to have found such strong partners in C&A Foundation and Gender at Work and we are excited to work together to carry this initiative forward,” says Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women. “By amplifying the voices of women workers and bolstering their leadership skills, this initiative seeks to ensure every woman can feel safe and free from violence—not only in the workplace, but also in the communities in which they live.”
“We are excited to join forces with Global Fund for Women and Gender at Work, and invite other donors, retailers, brands, industry associations, and governments to partner with us to scale prove strategies for transforming gender norms and empowering women,” says Brandee Butler, Head of Gender Justice and Human Rights at C&A Foundation. “For us, this also includes engaging organizations that are working with men and boys. As men dominate positions of authority both throughout the industry and beyond, engaging them is crucial to changing attitudes and behaviors, and improving policies.”
The initiative’s worker-centered, rights-based approach is at the heart of Global Fund for Women’s work as a grantmaker and advocate for women’s human rights. It also aligns closely with Gender at Work’s expertise in learning and collaboration to end discrimination and drive equality. At the same time, the initiative’s goal of advancing workers’ wellbeing and promoting their leadership for social change works towards C&A Foundation’s strategic focus of empowering women to create sustainable change and improve their livelihoods across the apparel supply chain.
Global Fund for Women will share a Request for Proposals in mid-December 2016 to initiate an application review process, and plans to award initial grants to initiative partners in June 2017. With a long-term focus on stronger partnerships, systemic workplace and community change, and learning and evaluation, this initiative will significantly build upon Global Fund for Women, Gender at Work, and C&A Foundation’s work to end gender-based violence and drive women’s human rights in the garment industry.