Inspired by the UN Agenda for sustainable development along with its own 2030 vision initiative, Amfori has announced a programme in a bid to empower women across global supply chains. The empowerment initiative will offer three different projects in Amfori’s three leading sourcing nations; India, China and Bangladesh.
The new programme will also eye to build on Amfori’s BSCI Code of Conduct, that works to make sure that no gender-based discrimination and precarious employment occurs at any segment of the supply chain.
The training that will be provided through this initiative will target to change the traditional mindset towards female workers, creating about a tangible behaviour change and enhancing the policies.
Amfori has collaborated with strategic stakeholders in different countries like in India, they have partnered with the Confederation of Indian Industries, for China, International Organisation of Migration as well as the CSR centre and DBL Group in Bangladesh to cater to the local needs of the workers.
In China, Amfori will be hosting an in-depth research and policy recommendations to overcome the complex challenges of women workers shifting to metropolitan region. While in India, it will work to to increase awareness among workers and supervisors regarding labour rights and grievance mechanisms, supporting compliance with national laws on sexual harassment; and in Bangladesh, leadership training to boost upward mobility and participation in representative bodies.
Reportedly, India and Bangladesh’s textile and clothing industry’s workforce is dominated by female workers, as they occupy 70 to 90 per cent of the total workforce, but even after attaining the majority in the workforce, they are treated unfairly and often subject to harassment at the lower tiers of the supply chain.
Furthermore, Amfori expects its Women’s Empowerment Programme will offer a ‘win-win’ scenario for female employees, producers and stakeholders alike. Local producers will get the chance to enhance their management skills, a factor which can boost worker retention and productivity along with providing fresh skills, better working environment and career options to women workers.
Additionally, implementing gender equality is not just a moral issue, as per the European Institute of Gender Equality (EIGE), enhancement in gender equality can lead to a per capita hike by 6.1-9.6 per cent, amounting to €1.95 to €3.15 trillion by 2050 in the EU GDP.
In a press statement issued, Christian Ewert, President, Amfori, was quoted as saying that, “organisations have a fundamental role to play in advancing progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By empowering women, we empower communities and society at large. But this is not just a moral imperative for companies. If we can manage to eliminate gender partiality in the textile and clothing sector, it can open up many career opportunities and enhance the business.”