The ready-made garment (RMG) industry of Bangladesh is committed to ensuring a safer and healthier environment for workers, especially women, who are at the heart of the industry, said BGMEA President Faruque Hassan on Sunday.
“As we recognize the crucial role that workers play in this industry, we also consider it as an imperative to take care of their health which directly correlates with their productivity,” he said while addressing a programme held at UNICEF House in Dhaka, according to a press release.
“Our proactive engagement with the government of Bangladesh and UNICEF in the [email protected] project is an example of how the industry is trying to improve the healthcare of women workers in the sector,” Faruque said.
Kenny Liu, vice-president and general manager (retail, branding and information solutions), South Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Avery Dennison; Siddhartha C Reddy, vice-president (Finance, Solutions Group), Avery Dennison, USA; and Sazzad Hossain, general manager, Avery Dennison, Bangladesh were present at the programme while from UNICEF, Dr Saja Farooq Abdullah, chief of field service; Dr Safina Abdulloeva, nutrition manager; Elisa Cortes Gil, chief resource mobilisation and partnerships and Piyali Mustphil, chief, nutrition also attended the event.
Faruque said the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) had taken the issue of creating a decent and inclusive workplace at the core of its strategic vision and has been working to ensure that the women working in the garment industry have access to adequate healthcare, nutrition and safe working conditions.
“We are collaborating with the stakeholders and member factories to improve maternal and child health.”
He said proper maternity benefits and a breastfeeding-friendly workplace contribute to higher job satisfaction and loyalty among the employees.
“Most of our factories are aware, or are increasingly becoming aware of the numerous business benefits of supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.”
The BGMEA chief urged all stakeholders, including the media, to appreciate and promote the good initiatives taken by the garment factories in Bangladesh, even going beyond legal obligations for the welfare of the workers.