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BRAC, H&M Foundation to host 3-day Global Innovation Conference “STITCH for RMG””

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Desk Report : A three-day virtual global conference on safeguarding the livelihood of women workers in Bangladesh’s readymade garment sector will begin on June 22. According to press release, Brac and H&M Foundation will host the virtual event titled “STITCH for RMG Global Innovation Conference,

The project – undertaken by Brac and H&M Foundation, a concern of the global RMG giant H&M Group – aims to map the road for sustainable growth of the RMG industry through a multi-stakeholder approach.

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The conference will bring together industry experts from around the world in a bid to protect the livelihoods of women garment workers, mainly from automation. Anyone interested can apply for registration through stitchforrmg.brac.net. The event is free of cost, however, confirmation of attendance will depend on the availability of capacity. Last deadline for application is 19 June.

Helena Helmersson, chief executive officer of H&M Group, Faruque Hassan, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) , Ziaur Rahman ,Regional Country Manager, H&M; Shwapna Bhowmick,Country Manager ,M&S; Nazma Akter ,Founder, CARE Bangladesh will be present the conference among others.

The project, currently a 13-month pilot (from December 2020 to December 2021),  is working together with buyers, suppliers, and innovators through a series of cross-sector dialogues to create new avenues for employment of women, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to sustain their livelihoods in the future dominated by automation.

This conference is basically the first part of the two-step pilot process. The knowledge gathered through this will be utilized in the second phase of the Global Innovation Challenge. A fund worth $18000 will be provided as grants to the winners for pilot implementation.

“Our long-term goal is to prepare and equip the women to work successfully alongside artificial intelligence and automation, and by this safeguard their livelihoods. The new technology can significantly improve female participation in economic life and enhance the social autonomy of women, said, Charlotte Brunnstrom Strategy Lead at the H&M Foundation

As the sector is going through a shift, we can’t leave the women behind.  Through this project, we hope to mainstream innovations that can re-skill them and also scale up innovations that can make the industry ready for a future which is technology driven and more equal, said, Asif Saleh, Executive Director BRAC

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