Organization: The International Labour Organization
About the ILO The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work, and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO has a unique structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives. In 1999, the ILO Director General declared that gender equality is central to the work of ILO. Recognizing the persistent gender inequalities in the world of work, the ILO’s 2008 Declaration stated that gender equality and non-discrimination must be considered cross-cutting issues in the strategic objectives of the ILO.
About the Ready Made Garment Sector and gender in Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment (RMG) is a strategic sector for the Bangladeshi economy, with an estimate of more than 5,000 export factories in operation, providing a source of employment for over 3.5 million workers. It is estimated that 60-80% of the workers are women. The industry exports totaled $24.4 billion in 2013-2014, which makes Bangladesh second largest apparel exporter after China. The sector in Bangladesh has received lots of attention globally because of repeated massive industrial accidents indicating hazardous working conditions. Traditionally in the garment industry worldwide and also in Bangladesh, men tend to hold the higher paying jobs such as middle and upper management, cutters, mechanics and drivers, as they often hold positions of power (owners, operations and production managers, HR management staff, line supervisors, line team leaders, and yes, even union organizers). Women garment workers on the other hand, are mostly employed at the lower category, and often find themselves in more strenuous job categories, like sewing machine operators, finishers, quality control, packers, helpers, servants and general factory maintenance, such as cleaning bathrooms and maintaining kitchen facilities. The regulatory authorities in Bangladesh are marked by male dominated institutions and could benefit from more gender sensitive rules and regulations.
About the ILO RMG Project Since October 2013, the ILO through its “Improving Working Conditions in the RMG Sector” project (ILO RMG project), funded by Canada, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom (total 37 million USD) has been providing financial and technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh for the implementation of the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity (NTPA) in the Bangladesh RMG sector and will continue to do so until December 2016.
The ILO RMG project aims at long-term improvement of worker safety in the garment industry. The underlying message in this initiative is to ensure that sustainable mechanisms are in place to prevent future tragedies and ensure safe working conditions. The Department of Inspections of Factories and Establishments (DIFE) has a crucial role in in this process by enforcing national legislation on building and worker’s safety. The ILO RMG Project has five different components: 1. Improving building safety 2. Strengthening labour Inspections and support fire and building inspections 3. Building occupation safety and health (OSH) awareness, capacity and systems 4. Rehabilitation and skills training for Rana Plaza victims 5. Better Work Bangladesh In three and a half years, the project aims to achieve major results on building and fire safety and support to survivors. It will build the foundations for longer term results and sustainable action through improved legislation, enforcement and oversight capacity of regulatory agencies and through implementation of workplace level systems to improve working conditions by employers and workers, initially in the RMG sector, but with potential to expand to other economic sectors in Bangladesh. The project is also coordinating with other brand initiatives such as the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, the Alliance for Bangladesh’ worker safety and EU/US/Government of Bangladesh Sustainability Compact on labour rights and factory safety in the garment sector in Bangladesh. The ‘Compact’ commits the government, EU and ILO to take the necessary actions to improve conditions in three areas: labour rights, building integrity, occupational health and safety, and responsible business conduct. It includes the requirement for transparency of inspections and a publicly available database.
About the ILO Country Office Bangladesh The ILO Country Office (CO) Bangladesh is situated in Gulshan-1 in Dhaka and employs over 90 people, a mix of local and international staff. The ILO RMG Project is a project under the CO and located in a separate building in Gulshan-2 in Dhaka. At present around 25 people are working for the RMG Project.
Objective of the Consultancy The objective of this consultancy is to strengthen the ILO RMG Project’s capacity on carrying out activities that actively contribute to increased gender equality between women and men in the workplace and beyond.
Scope of Work The work will involve strengthening the ILO RMG programme capacity through 1) a desk review resulting into a RMG specific women and men industry profile, 2) analysis of the existing ILO RMG programme gender strategy with recommendations for future action and 3) training to project staff and office management with handouts and “what to consider” guidance sheets.
1. For the desk review and profile document the following points of view should be analysed and provided:
The research question should contain the following elements:
What are the gender gaps in working conditions in the RMG sector, and how do they affect women’s and men’s working conditions such as (sexual) harassment, abuse, equality of remuneration, access to safety and health, social benefits, health status, equality in association and collective bargaining, skills development?
What are policy and workplace recommendations that have been suggested to reduce gender disparities/ gender-based disadvantage in working conditions in the RMG sector?
Particularly in response to gender based violence and safety at work?
Gender pay gap?
Skills upgradation and addressing occupational segregation?
What evidence is there that such policy measures lead to gender equality, empowerment on one hand and productivity improvement on the other?
Global literature review on the role of RMG sector in economic development, poverty alleviation, and gender empowerment in countries that rely heavily on RMG exports for growth and employment, on one hand, and a critique of how the RMG sector reinforces, and reproduces women’s unequal status in society as their integration in the sector is a result of a strategy to secure an even cheaper, more docile and flexible work force (evidenced in indicators such as the wage gap, systematic discrimination, harassment, low social benefits, and so on). Ultimately, this section should discuss how to achieve a “win-win” based on competitive advantage of female labour but one that respects minimum decent working conditions.
A statistical analysis and overview of the Bangladesh garment / RMG sector, including sectoral and occupational composition and size as available in labour force and other surveys, disaggregated by sex, age and trends over time;
Skill and wage disparities between men and women in the RMG sector, and trends over time.
2. For the review of the project’s gender strategy:
An analysis of the results achieved to date
An analysis of the (training) materials used
Provision of concrete recommendations how to improve the existing activities with component specific thematic boxes that can be used as guidance when developing activities and initiatives
Provision of concrete recommendations what new activities can be undertaken/issues to be taken into account during the last year of the project
3. For the training:
Short survey amongst project staff about current practices and understanding of gender, gender sensitivity to possible injustices happening in the RMG sector and know-how to possible solutions.
A participatory training (half or full day) for all project staff about the basics of gender, gender mainstreaming and gender analysis and key topics related to the RMG sector. The objective of a training (or proposal for series of trainings) should be transformative.
A participatory training for the ILO Dhaka management about gender mainstreaming and gender-sensitive/gender-responsive programming.
Deliverables: The consultant will work together with the ILO RMG project team to:
1) A desk review of women’s and men’s role in the RMG sector globally and Bangladesh specifically and Women and Men in the Garment Industry Profile 2) Review of the gender strategy (2013) and focus on the project’s component specific issues: what has been done so far, what can be improved? Key areas of intervention and recommendations. Review will have recommendations and thematic boxes that can be used as guidance when developing activities and initiatives 3) Two trainings: one to all RMG project staff and one to management with training materials
Required Qualifications and Experience: The consultant is expected to possess the following qualifications:
Education: Advanced university degree in social science, political science, business, law and/or a relevant field.
Experience: At least 5 years of progressive experience in the area of gender analysis, gender mainstreaming and a thorough understanding of the ready-made garment sector globally. At least 2 years with international businesses or organizations.
Languages: Excellent oral and written command in English. Oral command of Bangla is considered an advantage.
Excellent inter-personal skills and experience of working in a multi-cultural team.
High attention to detail and ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines.
Excellent oral, written, presentation and communications skills.
Excellent drafting skills.
Good participatory training skills.
Fully proficient in the following software applications: Word, Excel, and Power point.
Experience in organizational and management skills.
Tact and persuasiveness in dealing with people.
Thorough experience with conducting desk research, including literature review
Experience with conducting small surveys and interviews
Extensive relevant professional experience in conducting gender analyses.
Experience with providing participatory trainings on gender, gender mainstreaming and gender analysis.
Deep understanding of the RMG supply chain globally and preferably the sector in Bangladesh specifically.
Guidance and Supervision: The consultant will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the Director of ILO Country Office and direct supervision of the ILO RMG Project Manager. He/she needs to work closely with the project team and will be involved in some joint activities involving Better Work Bangladesh.
Duration: The total number of this consultancy is 30 working days commencing early November 2015 to mid-December 2015.
The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities.
How to apply:
Applications for this consultancy should consist of: 1. A CV of maximum two pages 2. A cover letter with a personal statement that outlines how the required skills and experience outlined above are met. Also include the expected daily fee. 3. Two writing samples of no longer than two pages each: a desk review conducted on any given topic and a gender analysis of project/programme or economic sector. All submissions should be sent with the subject “Strengthening the gender capacity of the ILO RMG project Consultancy.” Please send your application to Ms. Nyske Janssen (firstname.lastname@example.org) by email no later than Saturday 3 October 2015.
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