While Ethiopia’s growing apparel industry presents opportunities for business as well as for industrialization, job creation, and inclusive economic growth, intentional action is required to realize this potential. As in previous sourcing destinations, significant challenges exist that could limit both economic and social gains. Women in particular, who represent 85-90 percent of the apparel workforce and may be entering formal jobs for the first time, stand to benefit from the growth of the industry but also face particular challenges that must be taken into account by all parties.
Leveraging 10 years of experience of helping empower women in global supply chains, BSR’s HERproject conducted this scoping study to provide a snapshot of the buyers, factories, and other stakeholders active in the industry and key trends that influence their operations in Ethiopia; to understand the key needs of female workers in the apparel industry; and to outline approaches for business to contribute to the sustainable development of the industry.
View the executive summary here.