Journal Article

Recognizing Women’s Rights at Work: Health and Women Workers in Global Supply Chains

Journal: Berkeley Journal of International Law

Authors: Erika R. George, Candace D. Gibson, Rebecca Sewall, and David Wofford

Introduction: Across the world, millions of women in developing countries are working in global supply chains to produce the foods we eat and the products we use. Women workers in developing countries are primarily concentrated in agribusiness and in certain manufacturing sectors. Women working in global supply chains have new opportunities to earn more money in the formal economy and to enjoy more autonomy than ever before. Yet, while women enjoy greater autonomy as they earn more money, they still encounter challenges including low wages relative to the wages of men, life in dormitories, and pressure to send remittances home. Often women who migrate for work are disconnected from their families and from the other private and public support systems where they live. The pressure to meet production schedules, the poor quality of most workplace nurses and doctors, the limited availability of affordable health care, and the ignorance of managers of the particular needs of women workers all conspire to harm the health of women workers.

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Summary: This three-page summary highlights key arguments and recommendations put forth by the authors in the publication “Recognizing Women’s Rights at Work: Health and Women Workers in Global Supply Chains” for the Berkeley Journal of International Law. It also served as the basis for an op-ed featured in the International Human Rights and Business blog.

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Webinar:  David Wofford and Erika George gave a presentation on the article in a webinar on October 19, 2019 that Business for Social Responsibility organized for the corporate members of its Business and Human Rights Working Group. The powerpoint presentation for the webinar with their prepared comments is available below.

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