A focus on gender

13 Oct 2016

This thematic brief is based on the independent assessment carried by Tufts University on the Better Work Programme

Better Work is playing an important role in promoting gender equality, with factories in Haiti, Nicaragua and Vietnam seeing a substantial reduction in the gender pay gap due to their participation in the programme. In Haiti, women were previously working longer hours for less pay than men. Over the course of the programme, the average number of weekly hours reported by women decreased, while their total pay increased relative to men. Similarly, in Nicaragua, the gender wage gap declines, as does the gap in working hours between women and men. In Vietnam, Better Work’s positive impact on closing the gender pay gap intensifies as factories maintain their access to the programme’s services over several years.

Previous research from the Better Factories Cambodia programme supports the premise that formal garment sector jobs can play a significant role in reducing the disparate outcomes for men and women. Nationally in 1996, women earned nearly 40 percent less than men in Cambodia. By 2007, the gender wage gap had decreased to 17 percent. This trend accompanied the sharp growth in apparel exports that occurred after the implementation of the U.S.-Cambodian Bilateral Textile Trade Agreement and the establishment of Better Factories Cambodia to ensure compliance with labour standards.
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