Participatory social auditing : a practical guide to developing a gender-sensitive approach
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A participatory approach to codes of labour practice comes from a different perspective to more compliance focused snapshot social auditing. It puts greater emphasis on involvement of workers and workers organisations in the process of code implementation and assessment. It is based on developing partnerships between different actors (companies, trade unions, NGOs and preferably government) in developing a locally sustainable approach to the improvement of working conditions. This approach is sensitive to uncovering and thus addressing more complex issues such as gender discrimination and sexual harassment. These are issues more likely to be experienced by insecure non-permanent workers, who are often women, whose voices snapshot audits usually fail to pick up. They are less visible issues, that are unlikely to be resolved through a simple compliance approach. The goal of a participatory approach is a process of awareness creation and improvement that is more gender sensitive. A participatory approach can be developed at different levels. At a minimum it involves the use of participatory tools in the process of social auditing to ensure that the views and voices of workers, especially women workers, are captured in an audit. More genuine participation by workers also requires the involvement of workers representatives or shop stewards at site level, and sector trade unions and NGOs, both in awareness creation and auditing process. At its broadest level, it involves the development of local multi-stakeholder initiatives that bring companies, trade unions and NGOs together with government in forming an independent body able to oversee the implementation, and monitoring of a locally relevant code of labour practice. Such an approach faces many challenges, but it represents a shift away from a formal top down compliance orientation, to the greater empowerment of workers and their representative organisations as an essential part of the process of improving labour standards and working conditions. This paper is aimed primarily at policymakers and practitioners with a practical interest in developing a gender-sensitive approach to participatory social auditing and codes of labour practice. Keywords: codes of labour practice; participatory social auditing; gender.
CitationAuret, D. & S. Barrientos (2004) Participatory social auditing : a practical guide to developing a gender-sensitive approach. Working paper series, 237. Brighton: IDS.
Is part of seriesIDS working papers;237
Library catalogue entryhttp://bldscat.ids.ac.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=150327
Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies
- IDS Research