On 30th November, 2015, SNV hosted a round table discussion on ensuring Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) through an insurance model at The Daily Star Centre, Dhaka.
The aim of the roundtable was to hold a multi-stakeholder suggestion based discussion to more effective implementation of the Working with Women Project, along with ensuring involvement of Government officials and Business leaders in order to promote responsible business practices.
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, with funding from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is implementing a project, in collaboration with local service providers and private organisations, while initiating multiple business model through which Farhtheeba Rahat Khan, Team Leader, Working with Women project, presented the keynote paper. There, she emphasized on the finding from the project’s Value Chain Analysis report and data from a study conducted by Kaizen CRS in 2013.
About 95% of female garment workers live in grave health conditions regarding their menstrual health, which eventually cost the Bangladeshi economy $22.5m per year.
“The Dutch Government is seeking help for Bangladesh to reach the sustainable development goals and I believe that the business models under Working with Women Project can truly bring remarkable and sustainable changes”, said Ella de Voogd, First Secretary, SRHR, Education, and Gender, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Participants at the roundtable discussed the importance and rights of garment workers to have these accesses to such facilities, especially given the taboo that exists around menstrual and sexual health of women in the society.
“Garment workers themselves aren’t aware of the need for these health practices and need to be made aware in the first place,” Tahmina Rahman, General Secretary, Bangladesh Apparels Workers Federation (BAWF), said during the discussion.
With the funding support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, SNV has started the Inclusive Business (IB) Models, with some NGO service providers and some members from the private sector, the model will ensure SRHR of garment workers.
The IB models would ensure rights to quality, range and accessibility of SRHR services for improving condition of the women factory workers – and contribute to overall make the industry friendly, healthy and accessible for such health purposes for women.
Various members from the government, NGOs, the garments industry, the health sector, and the media were present at the talk.
Tahmina, along with Dr Nazneen Akhter, Faculty, MPH, North South University, and Dr Julia Ahmed, Freelance Consultant on SRHR were active participants in the discussion.
Among others, Mr Nur Hossain Talukdar Director General of DGFP, Mr Syed Ahmed, Inspector General (Additional Secretary) of Department for Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) were also present at the event.