Benetton Group to support women starts in Bangladesh and Pakistan
Benetton launches two concrete projects aimed at granting sustainable livelihood to women who work at home or in the Ready Made Garments Sector in Bangladesh and Pakistan, under the Umbrella of its Women Empowerment Programme
Benetton’s Women Empowerment Programme (WEP) launches the Sustainable Livelihood Project with a two-year calendar of concrete initiatives aimed at empowering home-based female workers in Pakistan and women in the RMG (Ready Made Garments) sector in Bangladesh.
Presented in October 2015, the WE Program is the focus of Benetton Group’s current sustainability strategy. Based on the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN for 2020, its objectives – attaining gender equality and women empowerment – will be achieved through five key efforts: sustainable livelihood, non-discrimination and equal opportunities, access to health, quality education and the end of every form of violence against women around the world.
A fundamental step to empowering women worldwide is giving them the possibility to enjoy decent fairly paid jobs in adequate workplaces, with additional measures to support them so that they can attain social and economic sustainability for themselves and their families. The focus on women explains why Benetton has decided to launch the Sustainable Livelihood Project under the umbrella of its WE Program.
The project starts in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where over the next two years Benetton will support the activities of UN Women, the United Nations organization for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Funding is aimed at improving the conditions of female garment workers and reducing their vulnerability both at home and in the workplace.
In Bangladesh, Benetton Group will support some 5000-6000 women currently employed in the RMG sector. It will organize training courses that will help them strengthen their professional skills. The brand will help them sign up for basic financial products at local banks, such as loans, insurances and savings accounts. It will also start a dialogue with their employers aimed at increasing their safety at the workplace and in its surroundings.
Benetton Group is one of the best-known fashion companies in the world, present in the most important markets with a network of about 5000 stores. A responsible group that plans for the future and lives in the present – with a watchful eye to the environment, to human dignity, and to a society in transformation – the Group has a consolidated identity comprised of colour, authentic fashion, quality at democratic prices and passion for its work. These values are reflected in the strong, dynamic personalities of the United Colours of Benetton and Sisley brands.
United Colours of Benetton’s commitment to social issues has always been a central feature of the brand that, through its communications campaigns and collaborations with leading non-profit organizations, makes the public reflect on social issues of universal relevance.
In Pakistan, Benetton Group will support around 1500 women living in the manufacturing district of Sialkot. Priority will be given to the unemployed, those working at home or in the fields and those belonging to ethnic and religious minorities. It will help each of them obtain an ID, which is necessary to vote, open a bank account and get access to training courses. It will illustrate to them and their families what their rights are as women and workers and will stress on the fact that they must be involved in decision-making processes, at all levels. The brand will also help them obtain formal employment and will work together with the local textile factories to make workplaces more welcoming to women.
The Benetton Women Empowerment Programme is rooted in the Italian fashion brand’s long history of social commitment and moves on to recognize that gender equality and the empowerment of women are not only human rights, but necessary steps toward building a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable world for all.