Working With Women – Phase 2

With an aim to ensure mental health and wellbeing, and address issues of gender-based violence  free faced by women among women RMG workers, we have been working to create awareness, encourage dialogue, and promote mental health and wellbeing alongside physical health of women in this sector.

SAJIDA Foundation with support of SNV Bangladesh initiated “Working with Women: Phase 2” in January 2018 to train factory workers, mid-level management, welfare officers, as well as male garment workers on gender-based violence and its legal implications. Through such interventions, we aim to uphold the wellbeing and rights of women that make up the vast majority of the RMG industry.

While the garment industry contributed in economic empowerment of women, it failed to improve gender equality and female well-being.

Due to their brutal schedules, pregnant women in particular, suffer significant health problems, such as hypertension. This also takes an emotional toll on them. Yet most women, need the income and continue to work and hide their problems as long as possible, out of fear that if found out, supervisors will fire them.


Two out of five workers showed suicidal tendencies

Yet the factory health-care systems do not treat mental illness as a serious problem. In fact, most factories do not have any mental-health-care provisions at all for their workers. As a result, most women suffer in silence. SAJIDA Foundation commenced “Working With Women Phase II” project targeting approximately 3,500 women workers in two garment factories of  Mirzapur Tangail and Naranyanganj with an aim to build systems of Para counselling and legal aid support in partner factories under the Power Plus model, in association with SNV Netherlands Development Organization in Bangladesh.

Our Progress So Far

Awareness sessions to RMG Workers

Maintaining a female to male ratio of 3:2 per session, 2248 garments workers were well oriented on Gender based violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and laws relevant to it. In addition, symptoms of mental illness, remedy of mental illness and referral system were discussed to equip them coping with stress in personal and professional stature.

Establish Anti-Harassment Committee

The factories receiving trainings worked on creating an anti-harassment committee to address GBV cases and build a community support system. A total of 58 committee members was trained to facilitate workers in difficulty. If the situations are not within the working periphery of the committee members, the workers will be referred to SAJIDA Foundation or any Professional centres where they will further intervene. Until June 2019, 14 cases of complaints were successfully resolved.

Train factory mid-level management

Sensitization of the factory mid-level management is the key to successful completion and sustainability of the awareness or interventions. Consequently, 52-factory mid-level management are trained on gender-based violence and mental health wellbeing.

Provide Training of Trainers (TOT) to Welfare Officers

To work as para counsellors and provide psychological counselling support for factory employees, 15 welfare officers were trained to identify cases through early detection and act appropriately to combat such issues. Subsequently, capacitating workers to resolve conflicts embrace positive communication and lead a healthy and productive life. Till date, 11 psychological group counselling sessions were made with 88 individuals case solving and 3 cases of referral.

Supervision of Para Counselling by Welfare Officers

21 days of supervision programmes were observed focusing on discussion about Mental Health, relaxation technique, techniques of self-care, 5 part model of CBT, Cost-benefit analysis technique, identifying emotions, thoughts, behaviour, role playing, how to maintain register, follow-up counselling session register and providing feedback.

Training of Mental Health First Aid to workers and Welfare Officers

To facilitate early detection and also understand the need of seeking psychological help 41 workers are trained on Mental Health First Aid on when to seek help and what to do as early measures and help prevent deterioration.

Awareness Session Given To:   3,500

Training of Mental Health First Aid: 41

Mid-Level Management Training Session Given To: 158

Para-Counseling Session by Welfare-Officer: 174



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