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Women’s Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

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Nutritional information

Lower Health Care Costs
Increased Productivity through Reduction in Employee Turnover & Ab- sentee Rates
Foster healthier relationships between workers and supervisors

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Women’s Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

Investing in women’s health not only benefits employees and surrounding communities, but can also have a positive social and economic effect on the private sector - Women's Empowerment Principles

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Principle 3 of the Women’s Empowerment Principles encourages companies to ensure the health, including sexual and reproductive health, of all workers.

Good health of women and children has a universally acknowledged intrinsic value and is a basic human right. Healthy women and children also contribute to economic growth. For every dollar spent on key interventions for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, about US$ 20 in bene ts could be generated.

Companies have the potential to improve the health of employees while benefiting both financially and socially. In ensuring that workers have safe working conditions and available health services, companies establish healthier staff, better relationships, and in many cases higher Return-on-investment (ROI). Workers that utilise available health services are usually healthier and therefore able to be more productive. If workers lose less time on account of sickness, companies have the potential to gain more time in productivity.

By improving the health of employees, the private sector also has the ability to in uence their reputation when it comes to the right to health. Investing in women’s health not only shows a commitment to the women within an organization, but also to the women in communities affected by company operations who often serve as the consumer base. Additionally by working on providing appropriate and ad- equate healthcare, companies can potentially cut their current, ineffective healthcare costs.

In addition to ensuring that corporate policies and practices respect women’s health, businesses can take action and contribute to the health of women workers and other stakeholders through core business operations, strategic social investments, innovative products and services, advocacy and public policy engagements or partnerships and collective action.

How can businesses advance women’s health?

Strategies may differ depending on a company’s sector, region, size, number of employees etc. However, some starting points are included in this recipe:

Steps

1
Done

* Align human resources policies with principles of women’s human rights. Companies should at all times respect and promote human rights, including reproductive rights.

* Secure support and a public commitment from the organization’s leadership as well as encourage other businesses to do the same. Businesses can also support public policy dialogues while lending their brand and voice to advocacy efforts addressing women’s health.

2
Done

Track the effectiveness of existing health and safety policies and programs by incorporating sex disaggregated data. Expand the reach of workplace programs (e.g., trainings, seminars, emails, counselling) beyond female and male employees to surrounding communities, to raise awareness about health issues and available services (including reproductive health, family planning, nutrition, hygiene).

3
Done

Provide on-site vaccinations, STI testing, and health screening programs.

4
Done

Develop appropriate, family-friendly accommodations for workers before, during, and after maternity leave that allow women to remain in the workplace after having children e.g. providing maternity leave, on-site lactation and nap rooms, on-site tness centers, on-site or subsidized child-care, exible working arrange- ments, telecommuting, etc. Include family planning in medical coverage offered to employees.

5
Done

Provide employees with a list of local trusted healthcare professionals that provide quality reproductive, sexual, maternal, newborn, and child health services. Providing such information can help ensure access to quality medicines and protect workers from contaminated and counterfeit medications or sub-standard health services, major concerns in the global market.

6
Done

Partner with health care NGOs and public clinics to raise awareness and increase access to targeted health services to women workers. A healthy partnership might have multiple industries and sectors involved with a variety of activities, still using shared metrics, working towards a common agenda with continued communication.

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