Report highlights need for gender equality in Asia’s garment sector

A new ILO report 'Moving the needle: Gender equality and decent work in Asia’s garment sector' examines the status and trends relating to women and gender dynamics in Asia’s garment sector while providing a roadmap for action to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

News | 06 May 2021
Garment workers in Hai Phong, Viet Nam. © ILO
Over the last three decades, the garment sector in Asia has been a key entry point for women entering the formal economy, bringing with it unprecedented opportunities for advancing women’s economic empowerment. Yet, while the sector has provided millions of women with improved economic and social wellbeing, many opportunities remain yet to be realized as persistent gender gaps undermine the achievement of Decent Work for all. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has both underscored and further exacerbated many of these issues.

This report examines the current status of women and key trends and gender dynamics in Asia’s garment sector. It specifically highlights the issues of: pay equity; discrimination, violence and harassment; disproportionate unpaid care, work and family responsibilities; and lack of women's voice, representation and leadership across the industry. In addition, it provides examples and lessons from current and past initiatives and processes in the garment supply chain to propose a set of key messages, a theory of change and recommendations for “moving the needle” within the sector in Asia.

Learn more

Learn more about gender-based inequality in the garment sector in this video discussion of the findings of the ‘Moving the Needle’ report.

Four key issues impacting gender equality in Asia’s garment industry

This report has been produced under the Decent Work in the Garment Sector Supply Chains in Asia initiative, funded by the Government of Sweden.