ETI Bangladesh held its quarterly Brand Members’ Forum meeting on October 11, 2023 with representatives from 15 brands. The discussions centred around driving collective actions and addressing challenges faced by women workers in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector.
The session revisited the outcomes of the research on declining trend in women RMG workers that was jointly conducted by ETI Bangladesh, GIZ and Brac University. Later, the outcomes of a previous event were presented where the brand representatives determined potential immediate, mid-term and long-term interventions to prevent the trend. The expectations from factory end were also presented that were derived from ETI’s consultations with factories.
These ignited discussions on the current situation regarding women RMG workers and the brands’ current activities in this area.
The participants discussed on supporting women through practical interventions such as upskilling and reskilling women RMG workers in both technical skills and soft skills, ensuring safe and decent workplace including having functional Sexual Harassment Complaint Committees, women leadership development, proper childcare facilities with breastfeeding corner, lunch and transportation facilities, assuring production staffs’ benefits while being promoted from worker to supervisor.
The forum outlined collaborative action areas emphasizing the importance of avoiding redundancy, promoting complementarity, ensuring alignment among workplace programmes, finding out which corners of the sector is more prone to dropout of women workers and work there. The participants expressed their commitment to promoting a gender sensitive workplace, guaranteeing safety conditions, and actively supporting the advancement of female leadership in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry.