A joint effort from

We have initiated the Women’s Safety Accelerator Fund to enable safe and empowering workplaces for women workers.

Alan Jope, CEO at Unilever

The Women’s Safety Accelerator Fund is a bold new program to create safe and empowering workplaces for women workers.

Women's Safety Accelerator Fund

 

Through WSAF, Unilever, Tesco and IDH, address gender-based violence in agricultural value chains. With a combined investment till date of €2 Million, the goal is to accelerate the scale of the UN Women ‘Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces’ and ensure that ‘all women and girls are socially, economically, and politically empowered in rural spaces that are free from sexual harassment and other forms of violence’.

Initially, WSAF will start implementation in the tea sector in Assam (India).

Women are an integral part of India’s tea workforce, and their safety is the Fund’s primary concern. Starting in Assam, the Fund will provide resources, tools, technical assistance, and specialized services for tea producers to strengthen prevention and response mechanisms and create a safe and empowering workplace for women.

The Fund will work to collaborate with a wide range of industry stakeholders in Assam, emphasizing that when businesses demonstrate a firm commitment to ending gender based violence, the tea sector will thrive as a result.

WSAF is focused on impact first and foremost, and will make use of an innovative results-based financing model to be implemented as part of our final phase of implementation in 2023. Further, a robust outcome monitoring and evaluation framework with an evidence-based focus, will enable the Fund to replicate and scale this model in tea and other regions and sectors.

 

The Fund was initiated by Unilever together with IDH. It is governed by a Steering Committee with representation from all funders. IDH manages the Fund, in addition to providing program management support. Women’s empowerment is both a social and economic imperative.

The Fund will accelerate the scale of the UN Women ‘Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces’, created with the support of Unilever, by leveraging the efforts and capacity of local NGOs and producers to drive more sustainable, long-term shifts in safety within the tea supply chain.

In India, the Fund will focus on promoting tangible and continuous improvements for women workers in the tea industry through:

  • Positive impact on health and well-being, with less absenteeism
  • Enhanced workforce performance and productivity
  • Strengthened implementation of worker-related principles in certifications
  • Strengthened compliance with policies and legislation
  • Retaining and attracting women workers

How does the Women’s Safety Accelerator Fund work?

Through resources and collaboration with a range of stakeholders, the Fund will take a holistic approach to addressing the challenge of gender-based violence. The Fund will work to build awareness and understanding of gender-based violence and supports the tea industry to put measures in place to prevent and respond to it, while strengthening the capacity of local NGOs.

The Fund will accelerate the scale of the UN Women ‘Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces’, created with the support of Unilever, by leveraging the efforts and capacity of local NGOs and producers to drive more sustainable, long-term shifts in safety within the tea supply chain. The focus is on promoting tangible and continuous improvements for women workers in the Indian tea industry by:

  • Enabling tea producers to implement the UN Women ‘Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces’ which aims to ensure that ‘all women and girls are socially, economically, and politically empowered in rural spaces that are free from sexual harassment and other forms of violence’.
  • Empowering local implementers, service providers, and eco-system partners to support producers as technical, training or mobilization partners, to build capacity and move from actions to outcomes.
  • Establishing a common platform to support and sustain change, embedding continuous improvement facilitated through the Fund’s engagement.

Women's accelerator fund© Himanshu Choudhary

Our Ambitions

To start, WSAF aims to reach 200,000 women tea workers in Assam, India by 2023.

In due course, WSAF will be scaled and replicated beyond the tea sector, to other regions and agricultural sectors.

Get Involved

If you share our goals, you can strengthen our initiative. To enable the Women’s Safety Accelerator Fund address violence against women and girls, we are delighted to issue an open invitation to public and private stakeholders to support the Fund.

Contributing to the Fund will give you an active voice in driving the success of your investment and in creating a safe and empowering workplace for women.

To learn more about how your organization can get involved, contact: