Framework for Corporate Action on Workplace Women's Health and Empowerment

Framework for Corporate Action on Workplace Women's Health and Empowerment

Global companies that employ millions of women in manufacturing and services have an opportunity to invest in the health and empowerment of those women and help advance the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals — specifically goals related to health and well-being (SDG 3) and gender equality (SDG 5), a report from the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, and the United Nations Global Compact argues. The report, Framework for Corporate Action on Workplace Women's Health and Empowerment (18 pages, PDF), outlines a four-step process for addressing three essential components of women's empowerment: health, protection from violence and harassment, and economic empowerment. According to the report, buyers and suppliers should work together to fully understand workers' needs and operational gaps by conducting a needs assessment; set priorities and targets that are timed, measurable, and tied to sourcing decisions; take action by implementing education programs around women's health and empowerment in select factories, gradually adding health services; and evaluate the impact of those programs and share the data with leadership, other companies, policy makers, and the public. The report offers detailed recommendations for each phase of each step, as well as examples of programs implemented by firms such as Walmart, Nordstrom, Marks & Spencer, and Gap, Inc.