Austrian Development Agency partners with the ILO to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the garment sector in Ethiopia

Press release | 23 November 2020
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ILO News) – The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) has teamed up with the International Labour Organization to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the garment and textile industry in Ethiopia. The bilateral partnership cooperation agreement was signed on 23 November 2020 between the ILO and ADA.

Alexio Musindo, Director of the ILO Office for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Special Representative to the African Union, signed the partnership cooperation agreement with Stefan Hlavac, Counsellor and Head of the Coordination Office for Development Cooperation at the Austrian Embassy in Ethiopia.

Speaking on the occasion, Hlavac explained that his government is ready and committed to support Ethiopia especially in promoting the rights and economic empowerment of women in the world of work.

“We know that ILO is one of a reliable organization, which delivers quite important goals and objectives among other partners we have globally,” he said. “We are glad to enter into partnership with the ILO, as the ILO is the right partner to work with in tackling the challenges and problems workers in general, and women in particular encounter in the world of work.”

For his part, Musindo explained that “the ILO in Ethiopia appreciates the partnership to deepen the gender intervention in the garment industry and is pleased to announce that it is a milestone not only for the ILO in Ethiopia, but also at a global level, as there are few such initiatives between the ILO and the Austrian Development Agency globally.

“The partnership we signed today is for €1.8 million and will contribute in deepening the gender intervention into the Advancing Decent Work and Inclusive Industrialization Siraye programme. The lessons and experience will be a good basis for other sectors in the country,” he added.

The funding from Austria Development Agency fosters collaboration with the ILO to extend the gender intervention with the objective to enhance the status of women workers in terms of income, leadership, voice and representation in the textile and garment sector in the country.

The programme will focus on raising awareness through training on gender equality based on International Labour Standards; promoting and ensuring women carrier advancement in their workplace and outside the workplace; encouraging and guiding national stakeholders in their efforts to establish gender responsive policies and practices; and promoting the ILO Convention 190 in the workplace.

It will also build capacity for law enforcement systems and enhance handling of gender-based discrimination and harassment cases, as well as provide women workers access to childcare and maternal health care services.

In his closing remark, Musindo stated that this is an exciting moment for the ILO and called on everyone’s commitment to support the partnership to ensure it brings fruit in the garment and textile industry in Ethiopia.