UK government and businesses join forces to get world’s poorest women into better jobs

A new partnership between the UK government and British and international businesses has been announced to empower women in business supply chains.

Image via Shutterstock
Image via Shutterstock

The International Development Secretary, Priti Patel outlined the Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) programme, which will help 300,000 women in the world’s poorest countries into more highly skilled and better paid jobs.

The WOW programme will see the UK working with businesses, including those in Britain, which have supply chains in the poorest countries, to tackle important issues like discrimination and violence in the workplace.

The UK is already a global leader on women’s economic empowerment and plays a key role as part of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel (HLP).

Speaking at the UN HLP, Patel said, “Around the world women are held back, hidden away and discriminated against. It’s a tragic waste of human potential.”

“That’s why a global Britain is driving real change by working with the private sector to ensure there are better job opportunities and improved working conditions for the world’s poorest and most marginalised women.”

“The UK will also use the UN’s High Level Panel report to deliver tangible change for these women.”

“Giving women the opportunities they deserve will not only help them, it will also support the UK and global businesses. This is central to building a safer, more prosperous world, which is firmly in the UK’s national interest.”

Over the next five years, the programme will help women get more productive jobs and higher incomes, with better working conditions. It will also aim to improve data on where women work in supply chains and identify barriers currently preventing women from being a part of the supply chain. Businesses need these statistics to help women into better jobs with better pay as better data can help track results and progress.

Founding member of the UN HLP Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening said, “We want every woman to feel they have the opportunities and support they need to get into employment and to reach their full potential.”

“This is a brilliant project that will see business and government globally, working together to get more women into high earning jobs – this is not only great for women, but good for business and the economy too.”

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