Event Roundup: amfori-ILO RSCA Webinar on Gender Equality in Business and Supply Chains in Asia


On 8 April 2022, amfori, in collaboration with the International Labor Organization Responsible Supply Chains in Asia Programme (ILO RSCA), organised a webinar on the theme Gender Equality in Business and Supply Chains: Empowering Women during Post-Pandemic Recovery in Asia, which was attended by more than 110 brands, producers and experts in the field.

In her opening address, Linda Kromjong, president of amfori, stressed the importance of women's empowerment for economic and business recovery, while the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on gender equality in all markets and women have suffered as they have been disproportionately affected by job losses and wage cuts due to closures and business shutdowns. The male-dominated culture in the workplace has also left women in the region in a vulnerable and unequal position. All these challenges have delayed the achievement of gender equality as enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

To break this situation and work towards gender equality, Linda calls for concerted action among stakeholders in supply chains to break the bias.

"It is not only women who can do it, but we do it together with men. Because only when we work together can we make progress" Linda said.

Joni Simpson, ILO Senior Specialist in Gender, Equality and Non-Discrimination, noted that under the current economic challenge, the promotion and implementation of responsible business practices including gender equality is no longer an option for companies, but a requirement by markets, and an opportunity for companies to be more competitive, productive and resilient to address labour-related risks in their respective supply chains. Joni was looking forward to the discussion initiated during the event, which would serve to promote gender equality.

In the ensuing panel discussion, moderated by Dr Ajaree Tavornmas, ILO Consultant, Joyce Chau, amfori Director APAC, shared the challenges of achieving gender equality in ASEAN supply chains and how amfori is committed to working with stakeholders in the region to improve the situation by providing training, systems and advocacy.

Md Zahid Ullah, Chief Sustainability Officer of DBL Group, and Luckana Sookthong, General Manager in Human Resources of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) then shared the best practices their companies have adopted to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. The DBL Group is a key participant in amfori's Shobola Women's Empowerment Project and Mercedes-Benz is a key player in the ILO RSCA programme.

Members of amfori can view the recording with access control.