Skip to content
Centre-based Childcare project Ongoing

Industrial Park Pilot Project

The Concept

Ethiopia’s industrial parks, predominantly staffed by young women, struggle to retain employees due to inadequate childcare options. This post-maternity attrition incurs retraining costs, squanders potential female talent, and undermines the competitive edge of businesses. An initial pilot project to establish a childcare centre in Yirgalem led to a more comprehensive project in collaboration with the ILO in 4 other locations. It fortifies workers’ rights and gender equality in Ethiopia’s garment sector, by targeting maternity protection, care policies, sexual and reproductive health, and childcare services.

The Challenge

The necessity of this project stems from the significant gender gap in care responsibilities, which disproportionately affects women’s participation in the workforce, especially in Ethiopia’s garment industry. The high turnover due to inadequate maternity and childcare support not only hampers productivity but also squanders economic potential. With global
estimates suggesting a $17 trillion GDP boost if care responsibilities were compensated, the project aims to mitigate these challenges by introducing effective care policies and childcare centres, thereby promoting gender equality and economic growth.

The Solution

The solution involves a multi-pronged strategy, including awareness sessions on maternity and care policies, training on workplace policy enhancement, and establishing quality childcare centers within garment factories. PfC’s collaboration with Ethiopian ministries, businesses, and the ILO aims to ensure the sustainability and scalability of care-responsive workplaces. By addressing the care economy’s overlooked aspects, the project seeks to create a more inclusive, productive, and gender-equal work environment, setting a precedent for broader implementation across the industrial landscape in low-income countries.