The British High Commission and Marks & Spencer have launched a program in India’s garment and clothing factories. The collaborative program aims at promoting gender equality in the workplace and prevention harassment. Phase 1 of the program focused on two factories in Bangalore. Phase 2 covered 11 factories in Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Chennai.
Workers have been made aware of legal provisions guaranteeing their safety at the workplace, and trained to educate fellow employees also. Supervisors at factories have been trained on gender equality, protecting rights of women and how to work responsibly. Recommendations have been made for safe and decent workplaces.
The garment and clothing sector in India provides direct employment to 45 million people, contributing four per cent to GDP and 17 per cent to total export earnings of the country. However, working conditions in the sector can pose challenges, particularly affecting the 60 per cent of workers who are women.
These gender centric programs, sharing learning and open source resources, are expected to help the garment industry in India and other businesses address gender issues and empower women to have the skills and confidence to take up leadership roles, contributing to a safe and gender equal society.