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SNV Netherlands launches inclusive business models for RMG workers

DHAKA, March 11, 2018 (BSS) - SNV Netherlands Development Organisation today launched the Phase-II of Working with Women Project to leverage a collaborative approach for improving the health and wellbeing of garment workers in Bangladesh.

Funded by the Netherlands Embassy, the Working with Women Project-II will implement three Inclusive Business (IB) models in 10 partner factories to harness market mechanisms for delivering win-win solutions for businesses and their workforce, said a press release.

The new phase of the project builds on the success of a pilot initiative (2014-17) where 10 IB models were implemented in 20 factories to testify the viability of SRHR investments in garment sector.

The project will work with 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 till September 2021.

The project will integrate three Inclusive Business models, focusing on three critical areas of focus---gender-based violence, health insurance and menstrual hygiene management. These business models will be implemented in partner factories for a potential sector-wide expansion.

Addressing the event, Netherlands Ambassador Leoni Margaretha Cuelenaere said the phase-II of the project will enable the garment workers to have to access to improved SRHR products and services through inclusive business initiatives.

SNV Bangladesh Country Director Jason Belanger said investing in workers' health and wellbeing 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.

Director General of Health Economics Unit of Health and Family Welfare Ministry Dr. Md. Zakir Hussain, NDC, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan and Director (MCH Services) and Line Director of Metarnal, Child and Reproductive and Adolescent health Dr. Mahmud Sharif, were, among others, present at the launching event in a city hotel.

Participants from different government bodies, NGOs, development organisations, private sectors, RMG industry and buyers were present at the launching ceremony.