JETI Organized Webinar on Promoting Female Leadership in Garment Factories
Promotion of female leadership in the RMG sector of Bangladesh requires a collective approach where the respective stakeholders primarily NGOs, INGOs, Business Associations, Suppliers, Brands, federations, Government, MSIs need to work in their respective territories to create a cohesive plan and jointly decide their facilitative roles, said the speakers at the webinar jointly organized by ETI Bangladesh and Ethical Trade, Norway. The event took place on 23 October 2022 under the JETI gender sensitive workplace progmramme, which is being implemented with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the consortium of the Sustainable Textile Initiatives-Together for Change (STITCH) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
162 participants representing brands, suppliers, INGOs, NGOs, CSOs, UN and other bi-lateral technical organizations, donor agencies, embassies and multistakeholder initiatives from Bangladesh, Norway and UK attended the webinar.
Following a welcome speech by Abil Bin Amin, Country Manager, ETI Bangladesh, Mr. Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of Norway to Bangladesh spoke to the audience as Special Guest. Focusing on the development agenda of the Norwegian Government, he highly appreciated JETI’s programme on promotion of gender equality and female leadership in the RMG sector of Bangladesh.
Marthe Kielland Røssaak, Senior advisor, Ethical Trade Norway gave an overview of the programme. Munir Uddin Shamim, Programme Manager, and Rashna Mahjabin, MEL Specialist, ETI Bangladesh made a presentation highlighting the experiences and learnings of ETI Bangladesh. Based on the findings from the endline and stakeholders’ consultation, they also offered a set of recommendations on how brands, suppliers and other stakeholders can work together to empower women and promote female leadership in garment factories.
Referring to the robust commitment in various national and international development and policy frameworks, the speakers said promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and female leadership is a collective responsibility and a precondition for a decent workplace and improved business environment. A solution to promoting female leadership in the factories cannot be through just one specific intervention but a holistic approach to create interventions against the existing bottlenecks. This approach may include capacity building, awareness and sensitization, affirmative policy provisions and implementation and continuous collective actions by the relevant stakeholders. Changing the mind-set and creating a culture of gender-sensitive workplace can play great roles in promoting female in the leadership position, added the speakers.
Mr. Motiur Robin, Director, Essential Clothing Ltd; Mr. Rezaul Rumi, Industry Expert; and SK Jenefa K Jabbar, Director, Social Compliance and Safeguarding, BRAC also spoke at the webinar and shared their experience highlighting on the importance of female leadership in RMG sector, existing challenges and way forward.
Reflecting on the issues discussed by the participants, Grant Dansie, Senior Advisor, NORAD congratulated JETI for organizing such an important event.
The webinar, co-moderated by Marthe Kielland Røssaak, Senior advisor, Ethical Trade Norway and Nafiz Mahmud Ayon, Deputy Programme Coordinator, ETI Bangladesh, ended with closing remarks by Heidi Furustøl, Executive Director, Ethical Trade Norway.