Benetton and UN Women are  focusing on women’s empowerment in the textile supply chain

Benetton and UN Women are focusing on women’s empowerment in the textile supply chain

Italian fashion retailer Benetton is to embark on an initiative this year aimed at building a roadmap to achieve a living wage for women in the textile and garment supply chain.

The plans are part of the retailer's ongoing partnership with UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), which began in 2013.

The two groups see women as “the real agents of economic and social change,” noting that they represent more than 80% of the workforce of the global textile and garment supply chain.

The collaboration will focus on women’s empowerment in selected countries and building a roadmap to achieve a living wage for women. The programme will be progressively implemented in countries of "common interest", with more details due to be announced in April.

On Friday (23 February) it was revealed that Benetton is to pay in to the Bangladesh Rana Plaza Trust Fund, set up to compensate victims of the factory building collapse that occurred nearly two years ago. The move by Benetton comes after nearly 1m people signed a petition calling on the company to pay into the Fund.

The company is working with "an independent and globally recognised third party" to work out a "fair and proportionate" compensation – with the amount due to be announced before 24 April, the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza's collapse.