Women’s Empowerment in Global Value Chains: A Framework for Business Action
Women are an essential part of global value chains. As raw material producers, small-business owners, executives, retail workers, and consumers, women help businesses succeed and grow. Yet women continue to face barriers to achieve their full potential at work, in the marketplace, and in many other aspects of life. This not only holds women back, it impairs the growth of businesses, economies, and communities. Empowering women in global value chains presents a unique opportunity to create business value and strengthen women’s health, rights, and well-being.
Written by BSR with support from Women Deliver and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, this report aims to help unlock business opportunities that advance the health, rights, and well-being of women in global value chains. It highlights the benefits of investing in women along the value chain and provides a framework for action and practical guidance for companies to identify and strengthen value-chain investment opportunities that deliver positive returns to business, women, and society.
This report builds on a number of studies that emphasize the importance of a holistic and integrated approach to women’s empowerment, including a recent report on building effective women’s economic empowerment strategies published by BSR and the International Center for Research on Women and commissioned by the Oak Foundation.1 It also draws on a review of the latest literature on corporate engagement in women’s empowerment and a series of interviews with companies to test the framework and gather insights on key gaps, opportunities, and solutions. It also incorporates feedback and perspectives from participants at the private sector pre-conference held prior to the global Women Deliver conference in May 2016.
Photo: Better Work Programme