Ethical Trading Initiative Bangladesh organized a consultation workshop to review the social dialogue and gender sensitive workplace programmes implemented at ready-made garment (RMG) factories. A total of 68 participants from 24 factories along with representatives from brands participated in the event on 21 December 2023.
Out of these 24 factories, 12 participated in the gender sensitive workplace programme, 6 participated in the social dialogue programme and 6 participated in both the programmes.
The participants included owner and management representatives, as well as members from the Participatory Committee and the Sexual Harassment Complaint Committee (SHCC). There were 36 men and 32 women, who represented 24 participating factories. Three brands Inditex, Primark and Varner were represented there as well.
In his opening remarks, ETI's Country Manager Abil Bin Amin thanked the factories for participating in the programmes and the brands for nominating the factories and the both the parties provided to ETI during implementation. He highlighted the crucial role of factory engagement in the success of the programs and hoped that this working relation will prevail even after the end of the project work.
A presentation on the endline survey findings showed that both the programmes made considerable improvements against the set indicators. Participatory exercises were conducted to map experiences, outcomes, challenges and learnings from the programs. Key highlights included increased authority of participatory committees, enhanced skills of supervisors and workers, women headed SHCCs and greater gender sensitivity among management.
Areas identified for improvement included extending training to mid-level management, regular refresher training to workers, increasing number of women supervisors and sustaining top management involvement. Recommendations for brands centered around providing further training and annual refresher training.
In their closing remarks, factory representatives and brands acknowledged the positive impacts of the programs. They emphasized the need for continued efforts through joint collaboration to build on the progress made.
The event concluded with the distribution of project completion certificates to the participating factories.