> CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Building National Momentum around Living Wage

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Building National Momentum around Living Wage

Deadline: Sunday, 22 February 2015

APWLD invites the submission of proposals for national activities that aim to build the capacity of civil society, labors and women’s groups around living wage as part of the decent work framework. APWLD will provide a small grant of between USD $2,000-USD $3,000 to support national activities to be fully implemented within February- April 2015.



In the last fifty years, the world of work has seen exponential increase of women participation in labor market across the globe. According to ILO recent figures, women workers accounted for 1.2 billion of the world’s 2.9 billion workers in the world, an upsurge of nearly 100 million women in the period of 10 years since 2004.[1] Women workers in the region can be generally found in the garment industry, service industries and agricultural subsistence farming, with the number of women in labour migration significantly grown in the past 15 years, particularly those working in informal sphere such as domestic work.While women’s labour market participation has grown in the region, the wages that the majority of women workers receive are below subsistence. Increasing participation rates and increasing ‘productivity’ demands (or profit and output derived from labour) has resulted in the lowering or stagnation of real wages with increasing output and cheaper products for consumers globally. Poverty wages force workers to work lengthy hours of overtime, to forgo health and safety standards, to go into debt, to sacrifice their families’ education, health and well-being. Asia records the biggest gender pay gap between men and women with no progress made to close the gap for over a decade.[2]


As part of the Feminist Development Justice campaign, APWLD has been pushing for a new development framework that focuses on living wage as a part of the decent work agenda. A living wage is a wage that can support a family to live in dignity. The article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and article 7 of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as several ILO instruments have established a living wage as a human rights. And APWLD proposes that the living wage should target the inclusion of all workers, with particular requirements for domestic workers and migrant workers.


The right to organise and right to association is one of fundamental rights that allow workers to realise other rights – fair wages, decent work, health and safety, fair working hours, fair conditions and to have a say over their working lives amongst others. Garment workers in Cambodia, shoemakers in Indonesia and laborers across Asia in general have been organizing themselves for a better wage and working conditions. Women in unionized workforces are less likely to suffer large gender pay gaps. However, organizing women workers still prove to be a challenge, particularly organizing domestic workers (largely comprised of women) due to their isolated workplace in the private sphere (homes). And in many countries in Asia, domestic work is NOT included in the national labour codes with the same conditions, rights and benefits as other works. And without the right to organise or join unions, domestic workers lack the bargaining power to negotiate for a better wage. APWLD’s previous research done in Taiwan and Hong Kong has found that ICT such as mobile phones and applications can help overcome the barriers of reaching out to and organizing domestic workers.


The 2015 is a critical and strategic year as the governments around the world will set the new development goals that will have impact on workers and grassroots communities. Given this context, APWLD will support national groups to build their momentum around living wage in their own country context.


Objectives and expected output

The overall objective for this project is to support national capacity buildings around living wage as part of the decent work advocacy. The interested applicants are expected to undertake the 3 components (see below) in their proposals:


Component A: Workshop on Living Wage

Selected applicants are expected to hold national workshops to build momentum around the living wage, bringing together sectors with majority of women workers. APWLD will provide some data and information about wage setting in the international processes happening this year and other data. Applicants are expected to produce a 1 page narrative report summarizing the discussion and outcome of the Workshop.


Component B: Produce a case study for the Labor Laws Research- No Field Research Needed

APWLD is in the process of collecting data on wage setting mechanisms; right to association; and national labor code. Applicants are expected to provide 1 simple case study or narrative (between 500- 1,000 words)– it can be on an individual, can be related to 1) right to association; 2) national labour code and practices; and 3) wage issues in their respective countries.


Component C: Collect experiential information on use of ICTs (Information Communication Technologies)—No Field Research Needed

During the Workshop on Living wage, we encourage the participants to bring in discussions on how ICT tools, for instance, social media and mobile phones, could be used to organise and mobilise workers for living wage advocacy. Applicant must submit 1 case study or narrative write up on this. The guiding questions to instigate the discussion are:

  • Are ICTs currently being used by women migrant workers and their organisations in your country formally or informally to organise and engage migrant domestic workers in individual or collective advocacy? Provide examples.
  • How the use of ICTs can be further developed for women migrant worker organisations in your research country to collectively organise, to inform and to politically engage women migrant workers, building upon traditional organising methods? Provide recommendations.


Support for selected national partners:

APWLD will provide 10-15 organisations from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Hong Kong, Korea, and Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, China, Burma/Myanmar, India and Kyrgyzstan with a small grant between 2,000- 3,000 US$ to implement the above-mentioned 3 components (A,B &C) in their community.

Selection Criteria

  • APWLD will select non-governmental, non-profit organizations that are committed towards the enjoyment and realisation of the human rights and labor rights of workers at community level in Asia.
  • The applicant organisations must be based in one of the target countries: the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Hong Kong, Korea, and Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, China, Burma/Myanmar, India and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Both non-APWLD members (with an endorsement letter) and APWLD member affiliates are welcome to apply.
  • Overall proposal must meet the scope and objectives stated in this Call for Proposal, and demonstrate organizational capacity to coordinate and implement the activity fully within the given time-frame of February-April 2015.
  • Only the successful applicants/ proposals meeting the selection criteria will be contacted by 27 February 2015.



Interested organisations who meet the criteria described above shall submit:

  1. Accomplished application form
  2. 1 page Concept Note
  3. Expression of interest
  4. Budget proposal.


Please send completed forms by Sunday, 22 February 2015 no later than 12.00 PM noon time (Chiang Mai Time, GMT+7) to the attention of Ms. Wint Thiri Aung at wint@apwld.org Title the subject line of your email as “PROPOSAL: BUILDING NATIONAL MOMENTUM AROUND LIVING WAGE”. Only the successful applicants/ proposals meeting the selection criteria will be contacted by 27 February 2015.


[1]  ILO Report 2014

[2]  ITUC 2014 Report

2018-09-09T20:56:25+07:00February 15th, 2015|Labour and Migration|