UN Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
“To promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.”
Money is key for survival. For a decent lifestyle, the economic sphere has to transform by providing sustainable jobs and policies alike. It cannot be acceptable that, “roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about USD $2 a day,” (UN). In different countries around the world, one can encounter entire communities who suffer from poverty and are trapped in places where they can’t prosper. Investing in an idea where everyone can flourish is a pressing matter. So much greed and corruption exists dispersing in a lack of empathy towards underdeveloped countries. This is something we can no longer afford to sustain, as it affects everything from humanity, to the economy, and planet.
Facts by the UN:
Men earn 12.5% more than women in 40 out of 45 countries with data.
In 2018, the total number of unemployed people remains high - above 192 million - and it is harder to find decent jobs.
30 Million: Number of jobs required every year for new entrants to the labour market to keep up with the growth of the global working age population.
What She Makes
Power and Poverty in the Fashion Industry
In a detailed report by Oxfam Australia, the inside scoop of a garment worker from Bangladesh is revealed. Unsettling facts are written of various women like her. Many who work overtime for a life full of discomfort. Naturally, meals are skipped, living spaces are unbearable, and visits to the doctor are unthinkable. The pay for a garment worker is troublesome as they’re at the bottom of the supply chain, and all the big bucks go to the CEOs of corporate brand names. A hierarchy with bankruptcy at its core where hourly pay is rewarded with cents not dollars. This isn’t even close to basic survival needs. Every 365 days, companies increase their revenue at an exponential rate, which makes one wonder, couldn’t all fashion employees receive an honorable salary then? Oppression in this manner is unacceptable, and poverty wages of this sort are inhuman. Governments, factories, and brands have the power and money to undo this situation. There’s proof that it’s achievable, however, as research shows that, “paying living wages would mean that instead of just 4% on average going to the workers who make our clothes, brands would need to ensure just 5% of the retail price got back to the pockets of garment workers,” (Oxfam). By pressuring companies and allowing more women to articulate their stories like those featured in this article, a radical change can be negotiated. And as we speak up and ask who makes our clothes, are they being paid a living-wage, and demand transparency from brands, we can hold accountable these corporations, pushing them to agree on business deals that are sustainable for the people and economy, so that we can have a future with zero poverty.
Facts by Oxfam:
In Bangladesh, the second-largest source country for garments into Australia, it is legal to pay the women who make our clothes as little as 39 cents an hour.
Based on CEO pay levels of some of the big brands in Australia, it would take a Bangladeshi garment worker earning the minimum wage more than 4,000 years to earn the same amount that CEOs get paid in just one year.
Oxfam argues that there is enough profit and other margins within the supply chains of big brands to mean that they can pay living wages, without creating higher prices for consumers.