Inclusive industries and sustainable businesses require concerted efforts to promote women’s leadership in the apparel sector. The speakers said these things in the program titled ‘Gender Equality and Returns: Advancing Women Leadership, Skill Development and Productivity in the Supply Chain’ held in Chittagong today Saturday.
The event showcased various aspects of the ‘Gender Equality and Returns’ or GEAR initiative run by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The GEAR initiative under the Better Work Program has trained 800 workers since 2016, of which 528 have been promoted to supervisors.
Speakers at the event said, ‘Factory owners, buyers, development partners, including UN agencies and civil society need to work together to create an inclusive garment sector.’
Tuomo Pautiinen, Country Director of ILO in Bangladesh highlighted the importance of gender equality and said, ‘I can see good progress in Bangladesh’s garment industry. Gender equality, women’s skills and empowerment are needed for a more sustainable development of this sector.’
Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Park Yong Sik said, ‘We are proud to work with important initiatives like GEAR. The progress of gender equality here is inspiring many.’
Leena Khan, Labor Attache of the US Embassy in Dhaka said, ‘Those who have participated in the GEAR program are not only improving themselves, but also improving their business. The program is working very well with governments, employers, workers and brands to improve workers’ rights in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive.’
The event concluded with a fashion show conducted by the GEAR program participants.