Our factories supports social justice and women empowerment through training women to gain financial independence and allowing them to become an integral part of the workforce in Pakistan.
The garments industry has the power to change the lives of millions of women in Pakistan. Women with no education or skills can enter the garment industry and with short basic training can quickly become part of the workforce, earning for themselves and their families and gaining financial independence. Bangladesh in contrast to Pakistan has over 4 million women employed in the garment sector and as a result Bangladesh scores much higher on many human development indicators for women compared to Pakistan.
Women in Pakistan face many barriers from entering the workplace. For many families, working is not seen as appropriate for women, especially married women. This is a huge cost to the Pakistani society which is losing out on the productivity of half of it's population. And certainly it means women miss out gaining financial independence. Research across the globe has shown that working women are much more likely to save their salaries and spend on their children and family when compared to men. So denying women the chance to earn has many hidden costs.
We started a training initiative in 2015 to attract more women into the workplace. As of November 2018, more than 300 female students have graduated from the program and 50 of them continue to work in our factory.
However, attracting women into the workplace is difficult and we often set up workshops at schools in surrounding villages to talk about women empowerment and how the free training can help them enter the workforce.
Factory Management frequently visits student family's in person to reassure them that their daughters will not be harassed if they are allowed to work and they would be working in a safe and clean environment. They also explain how the family will benefit from the increased earnings. They also provide reassurance for the men that women can work and there is no “dishonour” in it. We hope to create a virtuous circle, and already the number of female skilled operators in our factory has doubled from 100 to 200.