SIALKOT: Launching ceremony of the “Women Empowerment programme Phase-I” was held here Saturday evening. The programme is being implemented by Baidarie Sialkot with the technical and financial support provided by Adidas group.
Speaking at the occasion Sari Nasution, Regional Manager Social and Environmental Affairs Adidas group said that his company strictly believes in the principles of non-discrimination and requires its business partners to evolve as open opportunity employers. Adidas group is fully aware of the fact that because of shift in the soccer manufacturing technology, thousands of women workers who used to stitch soccer balls with their hands while remaining at homes have become jobless. Cognizance of the negative repercussions of this process on the lives of the poor women has led Adidas group to develop a replicate and up scale able model of linking these jobless women with livelihood options in the local job market.
Hassan Saleem Awan Director Marketing of local sports goods firm while speaking on the occasion said that gone are the days when women workers were not a welcome option in the industry. The industry is now resilient to have more and more women workers and provide them with the maximum possible opportunities to work in harassment free and gender responsive atmosphere. He urged women workers to raise loud and clear voice to secure, protect and promote their rights. If we want our country to develop and make progress in the global economy characterized by an insatiable appetite for survival of the most competitive ones, then our women must step forward to become equal partners in this struggle he said.
Highlighting the objectives of the “Women Empowerment Programme”, Arshad Mehmood Mirza Executive Director Baidarie said that the programme aims at strengthening of women workers by providing to them the appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as organizing them for identifying and tapping into economic growth opportunities.
It will be equipping select batch of home based women workers and the domestic women workers with locally marketable and demand–driven skills. Creating opportunities for induction of trained women workers into the formal sector and enabling targeted women & girls to setup profitable micro- and small- sized enterprises and own account employment units are the additional pursuits of the project he added.
Elaborating the outcome level results of the programme, Hina Noureen, president Baidarie shared with the participants of the ceremony that facilitation in issuance of CNICs will be provided to those community based women workers who may need them to get jobs in the formal sector.
She said that the proposed interventions will empower women workers to increase their effective participation in grievance addressing mechanisms and different in-house committees at their workplace adding that the selected batch of women workers will also learn to prioritize their expenditure heads, do better financial planning, make cost effective use of the available resources and takes up “saving” practices.
They will also get empowered to assume leadership role in the supervisory /mid management tiers at the factory and will be developing and implementing their “career development plans”. The community based women workers will be mobilized to do collective bargaining and make vigilant efforts for prevention of encroachment against their rights as workers, Hina added.
Many others also spoke on the occasion.