Staff Correspondent: To meet the requirements of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), the private sector has an important role to play within the garments sector of the country. Only the government is not enough for availing the access everywhere in this vast industry where over 4 million workers, majority are female, are working. So, to engage private sectors in it, SNV Netherlands Development Organization organized a seminar on ‘Role of private sector to meet the SRHR needs and priority of RMG sector’ yesterday, 05th November 2018, at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka.
At the beginning of the program Ms. Farhtheeba Rahat Khan, Team Leader- Working with Women Project II delivered the welcome speech. She briefly discussed about the journey of SNV here in Bangladesh for the betterment of the RMG industry.
Md. Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, Inspector General- Department of Inspection for Factories & Establishments (DIFE), Ministry of Labour & Employment was present as the Chief Guest and Dr. Annie Vestjens, First Secretary SRHR and Gender- Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands attended the program as the special guest.
A panel discussion, moderated by Bijon Islam, CEO-Light Castle Partners, on ‘Role of private sector to meet the SRHR needs and priority of RMG sector’ was a part of the seminar. Mr. Abdul Alim, President and CEO- Sustainable Management System Bangladesh was the key note presenter while Mr. Syful Mallick, Compliance Manager- Auchan International, Md Aynal Hoque, Assistant Marketing Manager- Nuvista Pharma Limited, Dr. Mohammad Mainul Islam, Chairperson, Department of Population Science-University of Dhaka, Abu Hena Muhib, Economic Reporter- The Daily Samakal and Ms. Geetha Powani, CSR representative, Alpha Clothing Ltd were present among the panel discussants. Academics, experts, stakeholders, governmental officials and media were also present on the occasion.
The speakers and discussants stated that the private sector like hospitals, banks, insurance companies, NGOs should come up with their individual services to promote SRHR issues of the female workers. Subsidized medical service, Free/Subsidized Sanitary Napkin, One-day Menstruation Allowance (monthly, based on gross salary), Contract with nearest hospitals, medical facility for health service, diagnosis, regular check-up, Health Insurance for workers can be some of them.
They can contribute to some other areas providing nutrition, lunch in workplace, essential drugs, affordable housing, Improved sanitation in the living place, clean energy in the living place, community based child care Improved transport system etc.
The seminar came to an end with the closing remarks of Mr. Jamal Uddin, Inclusive Business Advisor, SNV Netherlands Development Organization.