Let’s keep setting the gender agenda to #PressforProgress

On International Women’s Day, read here how we together press for progress across global supply chains.

In the past months, movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have catapulted gender issues into the spotlight. Building on that momentum, the theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #PressForProgress — and we’re proud to share with you, as a partner in our projects, how you’re helping us do exactly that across global supply chains.

Setting the gender agenda for sustainable change

By addressing gender in global supply chains, we can help make women less vulnerable to violence. Moreover, empowering women not only improves their overall quality of life, but it drives workplace productivity. As women play a critical role in so many of our sectors, we believe that tackling gender equality is key to achieving sustainable value chains.

With your support in our gender projects, we’ve been able to reflect on our approach to gender and work to strengthen our proposition for change: we recognize that gender is not an isolated theme for action, but a lens to be applied on all our interventions and impact issues.

Knowing the power of women         

From The Power of Parity report of the McKinsey Global Institute we have learned that if women played an identical role to that of men in labor markets, as much as 26% could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025. This is especially promising knowing that women tend to reinvest their economic gains into their households, and spend in general 80% of their income on their family’s needs, health, and education.

We’ve helped #PressForProgress this year by putting together some compelling arguments for supply chain partners to invest in gender equality and outlining possible steps to move these projects further.

Progressing steadily to our gender goals for 2020 

IDH’s focus on gender equality and empowerment began several years ago with interventions in the coffee, flowers and tea sectors. Since then, we have progressed to make significant steps in these sectors, thanks to the commitment of partners in our gender projects and our renewed approach to integrating gender across all our interventions, we are confident of achieving our 2020 goals:

  • Businesses change their practices to ensure more equal decision-making in the household and/or workplace – 50.000 farmer households are empowered
  • Enhance gender awareness (incl. on gender based violence) resulting in improved gender balance, improved safety, and a happy workforce –  improved gender balance for 100,000 farmers/workers
To exchange experiences on gender in the tea sector in Kenya and the flower sector in Ethiopia we are organizing a workshop this June. We will reflect on good practices and learnings from several years within these programs, as well as discuss ways forward for both sectors. Topics on the agenda are: safe working environment, leadership and empowerment, and sexual harassment in the workplace. See below for a sneak peek into our empowerment program in the Ethiopian floriculture sector.

Cultivating gender equality – a case study in the Ethiopian floriculture sector

In the Ethiopian horticulture, young women dominate the workforce, with more than 85% of employees being female and the majority being between the ages of 18-25. In 2015, EHPEA, the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers Exporters Association, benefited from our co-funding to implement a women’s empowerment program together with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility).

Learnings from the pilot phase has showed that lasting improvement of (women) workers’ health and welfare status requires a “change in mind set” at the farm level. Building upon the first successes, EHPEA was presented in 2016 with the opportunity to scale up and adapt the program to ensure its sustainability and ability for the farms to continue including its components in their long-term daily management practices. We agreed to co-fund the second phase of the project, which still see EHPEA collaborating with BSR, with the ambition to increase the health and gender knowledge, behavior, and access of 20,000 general workers of target farms; and to improve the practices, policies, and procedures of 42 farms to support gender sensitive management, prevention of harassment, and worker welfare.

Click here to see the results reached by December 2017

Launching today: our updated toolkit for gender empowerment  

Last International Women’s Day, we launched a call to action to integrate gender aspects into supply chain approaches. To help highlight the problem of gender inequality, supported by a series of case studies and practical guidance, we published our Gender Toolkit. Now, we’re continuing to #PressForProgress with our revised edition published today. The refined outline of project implementation steps aims to make the first step towards empowering supply chain approaches even easier.

Let’s celebrate this International Women’s Day by raising our voice together to emphasize just how crucial it is to address gender in our value chains.

How will your organization Press For Progress? Join us in our learning journey and share the change you want to see #IDH4Gender #PressForProgress