Funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands,Working with Women Project-2 of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in partnership with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) organized the 2nd Sustainable Apparel Summit 2020 on 08 November in Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka to bring together all the relevant stakeholders to discuss and promote industry best practices around the theme ‘Workforce-centric Sustainability in the RMG Sector’.
Honourable State Minister Begum Monnujan Sufian, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Bangladesh said –‘Purpose of the summit is very much alike to the vision and mission of the Ministry of Labour and Employment’ – while attending the closing session of the summit as the chief guest.She emphasised – Workers-Owners strong and good relationship will bring peace in the industry and do good for the betterment of both parties and the country. Health Insurance can play a vital and much–needed role in this regardas well in increasing productivity. Health is Wealth– a significant proverb that we all should remember andhealthcare of our RMG workforce has to be looked after with more care to make this sector sustainable and fulfil government’s vision. For our next generation, we need to work together for a better future.
4 exclusive technical sessions focusing on Financial Inclusion, Nutrition Programming, Multi-stakeholders’ Engagement and Policy Framework of Health Insurance for the workers’ wellbeing and sustainability in the industry engaged around 120 participants from different RMG sector stakeholders. With vibrant discussions, Q&A sessions, interactive presentations, Networking and Facebook Live engaging around 2000 audience, the summit came out to be a successful venture.
K.M. Abdus Salam, honourable Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Bangladesh inaugurated the Summit as the Chief Guest. He urged the sector leaders to extend their hands in improving the industry by supporting and collaborating with the workers to ensure their health and wellbeing.
Mohammad Hatem, 1st Vice President, BKMEA; Mr Md. Moshiul Azam (Shajal), Vice President, BGMEA; TuomoPoutiainen, Country Director, ILO; and Shib Nath Roy, Inspector General, DIFE were present as the special guests.
SNV Country Director for Bangladesh, Laos and Myanmar Dr Allert Van dan ham said ‘As of 2020, we were able to support workers through health insurance, menstrual hygiene management and through systems to address gender-based violence that have led to less worker turnover, absenteeism and sick leave. Which means that your business operation is running smooth, with less disruption, leading to meeting buyer targets and thereby retaining your clients, your business’ in his opening speech. Farhtheeba Rahat Khan, Team Leader, RMG Inclusive Business Programs of SNV presented Summit theme – Workforce-centric Sustainability in RMG Sector.
With the funding support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Bangladesh has been working since 2014 to bring out a win-win solution to the country’s RMG sector. SNV encouraged designing products and solutions, which is accessible, affordable and available to garment workers. Private companies found ways to serve the workers by extending their supply chain in a profitable and socially responsive business manner. Some international brands/buyers got sensitized by the initiative and some of their foundations have joined to scale up the initiatives.