SIALKOT: A Germany based worldwide sports goods company namely “Addidas Group” has launched the first phase of its Women Empowerment Programme in Sialkot’s sports goods industry.
During this prestigious launching ceremony, the senior officials of the Adidas Group-Germany announced their its full technical financial support for the betterment of the workers of Sialkot’s sports goods industry without any indiscrimination.
Addressing the participants, Ms. Sari Nasution (Regional Manager Social and Environmental Affairs Adidas Group-Germany) said that his company strictly believes in the principles of non-discrimination and requires its business partners to evolve as open opportunity employers.
Adidas Group-Germany is fully aware of the fact that because of shift in the soccer manufacturing technology, thousands of women workers who used to stitch soccer balls with their hands while remaining at homes have become jobless, she said.
Cognizance of the negative repercussions of this process on the lives of the poor women has led Addidas Group to develop a replicable and up scalable model of linking these jobless women with livelihood options in the local job market.
A leading exporter Hassan Saleem Awan, while addressing the participants, said that gone are the days when women workers were not a welcome option in the Sialkot industry. The industry is now resilient to have more and more women workers and provide them with the maximum possible opportunities to work in harassment free and gender responsive atmosphere. He urged women workers to raise loud and clear voice to secure, protect and promote their rights. If we want our country to develop and make progress in the global economy characterized by an insatiable appetite for survival of the most competitive ones, then our women must step forward to become equal partners in this struggle, he added.
Outlining the objectives of the “Women Empowerment Programme” Arshad Mehmood Mirza (Executive Director NGO Baidarie-Sialkot) said that the programme aims at strengthening of women/girls workers by providing to them the appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as organizing them for identifying and tapping into economic growth opportunities. It will be equipping select batch of home based women workers and the domestic women workers with locally marketable and demand–driven skills. Creating opportunities for induction of trained women workers into the formal sector and enabling targeted women & girls to setup profitable micro- and small- sized enterprises and own account employment units are the additional pursuits of the projects.