Washim Mia, Staff Correspondent: SNV Netherlands Development Organization launched their Working with Women (WwW) project phase 2 officially today, 11th of March 2018, at Lakeshore Hotel, Dhaka. Being tremendously successful in piloting including business models in phase 1, they are stepping onto the new; phase 2. The project is also being funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
This WwW phase- 2 aims at leveraging a collaborative approach for improving the health and wellbeing of garment workers in Bangladesh with three inclusive Business (IB) models with 10 partner factories to harness market mechanisms for delivering win-win solutions for businesses and their workforce.
The project will work in 200 factories in Gazipur, Tongi, Savar, and Narayanganj through different mechanisms and platforms, to ensure access to health, including Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of garment workers. The project will continue till September 2021. The project will integrate three lnclusive Business models, focusing on three critical areas –gender-based violence, health insurance and menstrual hygiene management. These business models will be implemented in partner factories for a potential sector-wide expansion.
Dr. Md. Zakir Hussain, NDC, Additional Secretary, Director General, Health Economics Unit, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Mr. Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, Additional Secretary, lnspector General, Department of lnspection for Factories and Establishments, Ministry of Labor and Employment, Dr. Annie Vestjens, First Secretary of Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), were, among others, present at the launching event. More than 140 participants from different government bodies, NGOs, development organizations, private sectors, RMG industry, media and buyers were present at the launching ceremony.
Addressing the event, Mrs- Leoni Margaretha Cuelenaere, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said, “The phase-2 of the project will enable the garment workers to have the access to improved SRHR products and services through inclusive business initiatives”.
SNV Country Director Mr. Jason Belanger said, “Investing in workers’ health and well-being is more than a social responsibility, and inclusive business holds the key to designing and implementing sustainable SRHR solutions for garment workers that can turn beneficial for the businesses as well”.
The other speakers thanked to SNV Netherlands Development Organization to stick with the welfare of country’s RMG workers specially with the female. They appreciated SNV’s continuous support for the betterment of Bangladesh Garments Industries. The initiative taken by them was highly praised by the presence.