Gender policy statement
Within the garment industry women are concentrated in unskilled, low-paid, precarious and often casual or informal work, including home-based work. Their work, even when skilled, is undervalued or unrecognised, and few workers have access to decent working conditions or training.
Women workers have little voice and influence in their workplaces. They are often denied the right to join a union or to organise. The unequal power of women garment workers in relation to men and their employers, both at work and in the community, is at the heart of the injustices and deprivations they experience.
Women garment workers tend to be in a vulnerable position especially if they are young, migrant, or poorly educated. They often work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. They lack rights at work, including to pregnancy and maternity protection. The long hours typical for garment industry work often come into conflict with women's ability to fulfil the responsibilities they are expected to shoulder in their families and communities.
The CCC recognises that workers’ rights must take into account the vital role women play in households and communities around the world to support and care for others; unpaid work that they do in addition to their role as paid workers.
The CCC aims to help women garment workers raise their voices and achieve positive change in their lives.
With the aim of improving conditions for garment workers and supporting their empowerment, the CCC campaigns for the full implementation of human rights and ILO labour standards in the garment and sportswear supply chain, especially those of freedom of association and freedom from discrimination, and strives to make consumers aware of the conditions in which their clothes and sports shoes are made and the role of women workers in the production process.
To make these commitments a reality the CCC will:
- take gender perspectives into account in all its work and address issues influenced by gender;
- include gender considerations in all its activities, particularly policy and campaign work, and highlight gender discrimination experienced by women workers;
- work to make the experiences, needs, and struggles of women workers at all levels of garment production visible, particularly those at the bottom of supply chains, such as home-based workers, and push for recognition of their status as workers;
- pursue complementary legal and campaign strategies to expand the rights of women working in the garment industry;
- monitor global social and economic trends, as well as supply chain practices, and raise awareness of their impact on women working in the garment industry;
To put our aspirations into practice the CCC will:
- foster solidarity and promote links between the women who buy clothes, the women who produce clothes and the women who sell clothes;
- collaborate with the international labour movement and with women’s organisations to win rights for women workers and empower women to join and take leadership positions in unions, community and workers’ organisations;
- engage with NGOs, the media and research communities to focus attention on the working conditions of women working in the garment and sportswear industry;
- urge companies and supply chain employers to ensure that all garment workers can access their human and legal rights, particularly women’s rights to Decent Work and equal pay;
- press the international and policy communities, as well as national governments, to take greater account of the importance of Decent Work and international labour standards in programmes aiming to economically empower women in garment producing countries;
- promote understanding and learning on gender issues so that policy and priorities reflect the commitment to make the world a better place for women working in the garment and sportswear value chain;
- increase awareness among consumers, especially young women, of the relationship between the clothes they buy and the lives of the women workers who produce them, as well as the benefits of ethical consumerism and ‘slow’ fashion which values quality of production over quantity;
- provide resources to assist the CCC network and other stakeholders to develop effective strategies to challenge gender inequality;
- conduct research using a gender-sensitive approach, including in research design, methodologies, and analysis, producing outputs that include gender-disaggregated statistics and findings;
- ensure that our own internal practices and ways of working reflect our commitment to gender equality.
Rights for women and girls, including reproductive rights, are recognised by the UN as a human right. The CCC will do all in its power to make these rights a reality for the women working in the garment and sportswear industry.
We will be bold, daring and ambitious in our pursuit of social and economic justice for women garment workers.