Sustainable Development Goal 8 aims to promote sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, by the year 2030. This goal aims to ensure positive economic growth without sacrificing sustainable practices and to provide decent and fulfilling work, with an emphasis on the protection of labour rights.1
- Ensure labour rights and safe working conditions for all.
- Support job creation across industries in an effort to lower unemployment and buoy quality of life for all.
- End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, coupled with the prohibition and elimination of child labour, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
- Improve sustainable consumption and production to prevent environmental degradation.
- Increase youth employment, education and training to prepare them for the workforce.
- Achieve equal pay for all women, men, and those who have historically been excluded from equal pay for equal work.
The rise in global unemployment has been disproportionately felt by women in turn, increasing the unemployment gender gap. In 2022, the rate of employment for women was 47 percent, meaning the rate of female employment was 25 percent less than men. Although there have been persistent challenges to female employment, these have been heightened due to the impacts of Covid-19. As millions of students worldwide shifted to remote learning, the childcare burden for women increased, adding to the share of unpaid domestic work done by women.14 Women continue to struggle for gender parity in the workforce, making 19 percent less than men, globally.15
The World After COVID-19
Employment Plus is a service offered by The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand that helps jobseekers to find a placement that fits their needs and provides training opportunities, workshop, and resources.22 In the United Kingdom, youth seeking employment also benefit from Kickstart, which offers those 16-24 years old at risk of long-term unemployment a 6-month paid placement. 23 Employment Plus is dedicated to the inclusion of persons with disabilities and offers disability employment services tailored to the needs of the individual. 24
Since the 1930s, The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field hub has served the people of Liverpool. This iconic site inspired Liverpudlian John Lennon who memorialised it in the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles. Today, the site serves to help the vulnerable in the community, offering the “Steps at Strawberry Field” programme. “Steps to Work” helps those with learning difficulties and other employment barriers to develop their skills and achieve employment. This 12–18-month programme provides education and job placements to prepare them for the workforce.25
Others Trade for Hope
Beginning as “Sally Ann” in the mid-1990s, “Others - Trade for Hope” is a sustainable, fair trade shop offering artisan products made by women in Bangladesh and Kenya.26“Others” offers fair wages for those in vulnerable communities, empowering former sex workers, trafficking victims, and women in poverty to earn income through decent work.27 Over 1,000 people worldwide benefit from the income that “Others” provides to vulnerable communities. “Others” values fairness, solidarity, and equality throughout its operations and the artisan goods are purchasable online.28
Microfinance is a type of banking service provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or groups who otherwise would have no other access to financial services. 29 Microfinance is essential for the socio-economic development of historically disadvantaged communities and demographics. The Salvation Army understands the lifechanging effects of microfinance and the WORTH programme seeks to provide skills and training to rural woman to empower them and their communities.30 Women receive training in business development, financial well-being,and bookkeeping, and receive additional training in anti-trafficking, malaria, and HIV/AIDS prevention.31 Thousands of women in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda have participated in this programme, resulting in over a thousand small businesses.32
In Brazzaville, Salvationists raise money to provide financial support to women and young girls who have escaped modern slavery and human trafficking or who may be vulnerable to being forced into this practice. These donations have contributed to the construction of a building which hosts a vocational centre for women and girls. The centre offers training in several different fields including tailoring, hairdressing, and baking to equip the women with skills that are in high demand. Training culminates in a certificate from the Ministry of Vocational Training, alongside employment assistance and guidance for establishing their own business. 33
Door of Hope
Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Territory
1 Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth. The Global Goals. (2022, March 15). Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://www.globalgoals.org/goals/8-decent-work-and-economic-growth/
2 United Nations. (n.d.). 50 million people in modern slavery: Un report. United Nations. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://www.un.org/en/delegate/50-million-people-modern-slavery-un-report
3 United Nations Statistics Division. (2022, July 7). SDG indicators. United Nations. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/
5 United Nations. (n.d.). International Equal Pay Day. United Nations. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.un.org/en/observances/equal-pay-day#:~:text=It%20further%20builds%20on%20the%20United%20Nations%20commitment,pay%20gap%20estimated%20at%2023%20per%20cent%20globally.
6Understanding child labour statistics. Alliance 87. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.alliance87.org/interactive/child-labour-stats/
10 Stopping forced labour - International Labour Organization. International Labour Organization. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_publ_9221119483_en.pdf
11United Nations. (2022, July). Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – Report of the Secretary General. Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/
13The gender gap in employment: What's holding women back? InfoStories. (2022, February). Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.ilo.org/infostories/en-GB/Stories/Employment/barriers-women#persistent-barriers
14Dhar, D., & Diez de Medina, R. (2021, June 15). Despite recovery efforts, women's unemployment continues to grow. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.gatesfoundation.org/ideas/articles/women-unemployment-covid19/
15United Nations. (2022, July). Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – Report of the Secretary General. Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/
18 United Nations Statistics Division. (2022, July 7). SDG indicators. United Nations. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/
20 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery Forced Labour and Forced Marriage. International Labour Organization. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---ipec/documents/publication/wcms_854733.pdf
21Hassfurter, K. (2022, October 14). Child labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward. UNICEF DATA. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://data.unicef.org/resources/child-labour-2020-global-estimates-trends-and-the-road-forward/
22 How we help. The Salvation Army - Employment Plus. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://data.unicef.org/resources/child-labour-2020-global-estimates-trends-and-the-road-forward/
23Kickstart. The Salvation Army. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/employment-plus/kickstart
24Disability Employment Services (DES). Employment Plus. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.employmentplus.com.au/job-seekers/job-seeker-programs/disability-employment-services
25Steps to work: Forever Strawberry Field. Strawberry Field Liverpool. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com/steps-work
26The History of Others. Others - Trade for hope. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.tradeforhope.com/history
28About others. Others - Trade for hope. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.tradeforhope.com/about-others
29Kagan, J. (2022, September 22). Microfinance definition: Benefits, history, and how it works. Investopedia. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/microfinance.asp
30Livelihoods. Salvation Army World Service Office. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.sawso.org/sawso/livelihoods
32Worth Project - Ministry to Women. Ministry to Women - USA Southern Territory. (2016, July 13). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/microfinance.asp
33Everyone Everywhere Annual Report . International Social Justice Commission . (2022, May 19). Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://s3.amazonaws.com/cache.salvationarmy.org/ed65a059-a99b-4ec0-ba5e-0fa8d6d06f50_Everyone+Everywhere.pdf
34Door of hope. Door of Hope. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://doorofhope.salvationarmy.org/door_of_hope_san_diego
35Everyone Everywhere Annual Report. International Social Justice Commission. (2022, May 19). Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://s3.amazonaws.com/cache.salvationarmy.org/ed65a059-a99b-4ec0-ba5e-0fa8d6d06f50_Everyone+Everywhere.pdf