Women's Leadership in Social Dialogue for Gender Equality in the Asian Garment Sector

Closing the gender pay gap – practical measures and initiatives in the garment sector

As part of the Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia project, the ILO and its International Training Centre (ITCILO) are holding a five-part webinar series to explore social dialogue-based solutions for advancing gender equality in the Asian garment sector. This webinar is the third in the series.

The presentation from this webinar can be found here. In addition, the links to the webinar recording can be found in various languages below:
This webinar is free and open to everyone. Sign up here.

Languages: English with simultaneous interpretation into Burmese, Indonesian, Khmer, and Vietnamese. Bahasa Indonesia - Tiếng Việt - ဗမာ - ខ្មែរ

Women represent a large share of the workforce in the garment and textile sector in Asia. Yet women working in the sector are disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs in the lower tiers of the supply chain, and consistently lag behind men in terms of pay. In the Asia region, the gender pay gap (i.e. male-female difference in earnings) in the garment sector is highest in Pakistan (64.5 per cent) and India (34.6 per cent). In comparison, the unadjusted gender pay gap ranges from around 17–25 per cent in the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.

While a portion of the gender pay gap in the sector can be attributed to differences in age and education, occupational segregation and direct and indirect discrimination also appear to be contributing factors.

Notwithstanding ‘equal pay for work of equal value’, recognising that jobs and tasks that are ‘traditionally’ deemed as female tend to be under-valued.  SDG target 8.5 aims to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value by 2030.

This webinar will provide attendees with the opportunity to become familiar with the key concepts related to closing the gender pay gap in the garment sector.

At the end of this webinar, attendees will have become more familiar with pay equity and the data on pay gaps across the sector, and learned of the importance of and key barriers to pay equity, as well as examples of effective policies and measures to prevent and address pay gaps in the sector. This session will also highlight indicators and international frameworks that support equality in the labour market, such as Convention No. 100 and EPIC (Equal pay international Coalition). https://www.equalpayinternationalcoalition.org/

Key questions

  • What is the gender pay gap, and how significant is it in the garment sector?
  • What are they key challenges to realizing pay equity across the sector?
  • What examples are there of effective policies and measures to prevent and address gender-based pay gaps in the sector?
  • Which indicators and international frameworks are working towards  closing the gender pay gap?


  • Ms. Emanuela Pozzan, Senior Specialist on Gender Equality, ILO
  • Ms. Christina Hajagos-Clausen, Director, Textile and Garment Industry, IndustriAll
  • Ms. Klara Helmbold, Global Program Manager – Social Sustainability, H & M Hennes & Mauritz


  • Ms. Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan, MP of Bangladesh, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labour and Employment
  • Mrs. Anne Patricia Sutanto, Vice President Director, PT. Pan Brothers

Webinar series

Future webinars in this series will cover:
  • 16th December: Sharing is caring: unpaid care work, families and the world of work
  • 6th January: Ending violence and harassment in the garment sector– what will it take?

About the project

The Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia project aims to bring together knowledge and insight from across the garment sector in Asia, and enhance regional action and industry coordination to drive decent work and sustainability goals.

With a core focus on four key areas - social dialogue, gender equality, productivity and environmental sustainability - the project will shine a light on the approaches that drive effective change. The project is implemented by ILO with financial support from the Government of Sweden (Sida).

Webinars form part of a wider Women’s Leadership in Social Dialogue in the Garment Sector programme.  This six-month programme is designed to support emerging female leaders from across the sector in Asia in their efforts to advance gender equality through effective social dialogue. With an initial intake comprising representatives from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, the programme consists of a mixed learning model with 5 online modules and 6 live webinars, together with discussion forums and coaching. The German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH also sponsors participants in the programme.