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Girls bearing brunt of Covid-19’s effect on RMG sector: ILO

November 21, 2020
The impact of Covid-19 on ladies in the garment industry in your community has worsened due to underlying challenges, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The challenges include discrimination and harassment, underrepresentation of women's voice, wage gaps together with unevenly shared unpaid care and family obligations.

A study conducted on garment personnel found in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kenya, Lesotho and Viet Nam, ILO's Better Work job found that waged employment helped advance women's empowerment found in societies regarded as highly gendered.

"Females constitute 60 percent of the workforce in the Bangladesh readymade garment sector. A drop in women's employment won't just impede their monetary and social empowerment, but may also give a surge to shortage of experienced, loyal and skilled staff in the market," said Tuomo Poutiainen, Nation Director of ILO Bangladesh.

Entitled 'Gendered impacts of Covid-19 on the garment sector', the brief aims to improve knowing of the gendered reality of Covid-19 and outline the way the pandemic impacts female and male workers in the garment sector.

Women take into account approximately 80 percent of the garment sector workforce in your community, so they are actually heavily affected to get started on with by lots of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Joni Simpson, Senior Gender Consultant for the ILO's Regional Workplace for Asia and the Pacific."However, women as well experience additional impacts due to the existing challenges they face at work as well as targets regarding women's obligations in the home."

Latest ILO research highlighted how key buying countries' imports from garment-exporting countries on Asia had dropped by up to 70 percent in the first 50 percent of 2020 because of Covid-19.

This has resulted in a sharp upsurge in worker layoffs and dismissals while factories that have reopened tend to be operating at reduced workforce capacity.

The Asia-Pacific region employed around 65 million garment sector personnel in 2019, accounting for 75 percent of all garment workers worldwide.

Women's employment found in 'Better Work' factories has allowed them to improve their leverage and impact in home spending and decision-producing, and has heightened men's participation in unpaid care work.

Nevertheless, given the potential, as well as perhaps sustained, lack of employment due to the coronavirus, prospects for women's continued empowerment may lower as personnel lose their financial independence and, in some cases, become reliant on their families.

The brief highlights brief-, medium- and long-term impacts of the crisis on women workers. In addition, it includes a group of recommendations to help build a more just and resilient sector and better gender equality.

The suggestions include greater focus on retrenchment and closure practices as well as addressing women's disproportionate unpaid care obligations to allow them to return to work as factories resume operations.

Efforts to address the Covid-19 pandemic should take into account the unique techniques women and men may encounter the consequences of the coronavirus at the job, at home and in their communities.

The importance of strengthening efforts to combat violence and harassment in the workplace is highlighted, because of emerging info showing that Covid-19 has increased the risks of gender-based violence.

In addition, the necessity to ensure women's voice, representation and leadership in dialogue and decision-making can be seen as key to ensuring a complete and fair recovery from the pandemic.

"It's crucial that governments, businesses and various other stakeholders understand the multi-dimensional impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on both women and men workers, and design policies that enable a smart, sustainable and gender-responsive restoration.Otherwise, the Covid-19 crisis threatens to exacerbate pre-existing inequalities and can hamper the community and monetary sustainability of the garment sector," said Jessica Wan, Better Do the job Gender Specialist.

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