As a part of the new Women’s Empowerment Programme, amfori organised the ‘Gender Equality Forum: Unleashing the Full Potential of Women in Global Supply Chains’ in Stockholm, Sweden on 2 October. The event brought together representatives from businesses, government and NGOs to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality in global supply chains.
Sandra Atler, Director of the Human Rights and Business Practice Group and Senior Advisor at Enact, opened the event by introducing the importance of gender equality for companies and their producers, and the positive impact it can have on global development.
Stéphanie Luong, Vice President, Public Affairs and Lea Rankinen, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at SOK and Co-Chair of amfori Board, gave insights on why gender equality is a key priority for amfori and its members. Currently, women represent a large share of the workforce in amfori’s members’ global supply chains but are disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs in the lower tiers of the supply chain.
In a panel discussion, participants explored how companies can embed a gender-lens into strategies, policies and due diligence processes, and how the OECD and business associations like amfori can support them doing so through the different tools and guiding documents, such as the amfori BSCI System Manual.
Two inspiring case studies were also presented:
- Women’s career paths in Bangladesh - obstacles and opportunities by Viveka Risberg, Program Director, Axfoundation/Chair of the Swedish amfori Network
- Preventing sexual harassment and empowering women in the textile sector – a producer’s perspective by Mohammed Zahidullah, Head of Sustainability, DBL Group
In separate working sessions, participants mapped out key challenges and shared their experiences. As an outcome, amfori created a roadmap identifying solutions and practical steps on how to perform due diligence with a gender-lens for buyers, factory managers and women.
amfori remains committed to working towards gender equality in global supply chains and will continue facilitating a close collaboration between buyers and producers to empower women and thus society at large.
For more information on the amfori’s activities concerning women’s empowerment, take a look at our dedicated webpage.