IndiaCSR News Network
Launched in 2011, the `Women in Factories’ program imparts critical life skills to women in India, Bangladesh, China and Central America
AHMEDABAD: Today, the Walmart Foundation and Swasti Health Resource Center (Swasti) announced more than 12,000 women in 30 factories in three states – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat – have been trained since the program launched with Swasti in 2012. The announcement was made at the ‘Life Skills Education for Women in Factory’ conference held in Bangalore.
The training program in India, which was launched by Swasti with funding from the Walmart Foundation, teaches critical life skills related to communication, hygiene, reproductive health, occupational health and safety, identifying personal strengths and gender sensitivity.
India is just one of the countries included in the global Women in Factories program, which is on track to meet its goal of reaching 60,000 women working in 150 factories in India, Bangladesh, China, El Salvador and Honduras by the end of 2016. To date, more than 40,000 female factory line workers have been trained in the types of skills needed to be successful in the workplace, at home and in their communities.
In addition, a Women in Factories curriculum, developed by CARE with funding from the Walmart Foundation, is being made available by CARE to any factory or organization interested in providing job readiness and life skills training to its workers. By making this curriculum available at no cost, the training will enable greater impact by reaching more workers throughout the global supply chain.
Speaking at the conference, Nancy Kielty, VP Global Sourcing, Walmart, said: “We are committed to the communities and people in our supply chain, so it is important to us that this training is helping to empower women around the world. We are thrilled with the progress made by Swasti here in India and reaching a milestone of more than 12,000 women trained.
” The Women in Factories program is part of the larger Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Initiative, which aims to train nearly one million women, increase sourcing from women, and in doing so improve the lives of underserved women. Since its launch, the WEE initiative has helped provide job training, market access and career opportunities to women across the globe. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have contributed more than $79 million in grants toward programs to empower women.
Chandra Shekhar Gowda, Director Swasti Health Resource Center, said: “The Walmart Foundation’s commitment to economic empowerment of women through a partnership approach is impressiveand we appreciate the partnership and support provided to Swasti by Walmart Foundation to successfully implement this training in India.
At Swasti we believe that we can contribute to larger development goals through an empowerment approach and particularly by empowerment of women to help them to make right choices and to lead healthy lives. This program is helping to contribute to our mission and we are extremely privileged and happy to be part of this global effort by Walmart Foundation.
” Empowering women is a global necessity and Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, through the WEE Initiative, are working towards goals to help provide women with the resources they need to succeed. More than a billion people live in poverty worldwide and approximately 70 percent of them are women. Through job training and market access, the WEE Initiative is able to help women live better and provide them with access to the economic opportunity they deserve.