Created in partnership with the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights


Addressing Poor Health Among Female Workers

HERproject is a BSR initiative that catalyzes partnerships between the private sector and local NGOs to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. HERproject was started in 2007 as a training programme on safety and health for female workers. It has since expanded to also cover financial inclusion and gender equality issues. Since its launch in 2007, HERproject has worked in more than 850 workplaces across 14 countries and has increased the well-being, confidence and economic potential of more than 1 million women. Private sector participants in HERproject include over 60 international companies, including Levi Strauss & Co, Marks and Spencer, Ralph Lauren, Tesco and VF Corporation.

HERhealth — one of the HERproject programmes focusing on health — includes several activities aiming to build the capacity of female workers and strengthen management systems in factories. Examples of HERhealth activities include:

  • Raising awareness on critical health topics such as healthy eating, personal and menstrual hygiene, and maternal health
  • Improving health-related behaviours such as disease testing, seeking out preventative care and conducting breast self-examinations
  • Addressing common myths and misconceptions around potentially harmful health practices and beliefs
  • Building confidence and communication skills around discussing important health issues at work and at home
  • Improving the capacity of the workplace clinic to respond to workers’ health needs
  • Linking workplaces with external health service providers, such as local clinics
  • Strengthening workplace policies and systems promoting worker well-being

Since January 2016, HERhealth programmes have helped improve the health knowledge and behaviour of 218,000 female workers.