Shahi, India’s largest apparel manufacturer, commits to partner with the Family Planning Association of India to reach 9,000 workers in six of its factories, along with more than 10,000 community members, totaling 19,000 people, with women’s health information and services, including sexual and reproductive health that includes family planning, STI testing and treatment, and mother and child health by 2020. The one-year pilot will lead to a wide-scale roll out of such services across more of Shahi's factories.
Shahi, as India’s largest apparel manufacturer, commits to partnering with the Family Planning Association of India (FPA India), to reach all 9,000 workers in six factories in the Peenya district of Karnataka, along with over 10,000 community members, with women’s health information and services, including sexual and reproductive health that includes family planning, STI testing and treatment, and mother and child health by 2020.
FPAI will implement train-the-trainer programs for Shahi’s factory staff to be able to undertake sensitization workshops with 9,000 workers on issues of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning (FP). Shahi will also upgrade factory dispensaries to provide appropriate SHR and FP support, including advice, testing and referrals to approved community health providers. Through community clinics managed by FPA India, Shahi will support the extension of similar services to over 10,000 community members in the Peenya locality, many of whom are also work garment workers. The clinics will also provide contraceptives and will make referrals to government health services.
Shahi understands the unique health and wellbeing needs of women are directly related to their personal and professional development and sees investing in workers as a valuable strategy to enable women to contribute fully to the business and to society. Shahi’s investment in this initiative complements a wide range of existing health, wellbeing and advancement programmes including access to basic health services at 65 factories, provision of low-cost sanitary pads, wide-scale testing for anemia, support for pregnant women, prevention of sexual harassment training, and implementation of BSR’s HERfinance and HERrespect programmes throughout many factories. Over 38,000 female workers have also completed Gap Inc.’s holistic life skills training programme, Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) with a target of reaching 54,000 women by 2024.
After surveying workers, including migrant workers, Shahi found a high unmet need for family planning advice, safe abortion support, and reproductive health education - as well as considerable taboos around discussing family planning in households and communities. This programme aims to support workers to plan their families, manage their pregnancies, and address issues such as contraception in order to live healthy, productive lives. The programme in six factories represents a one-year pilot project. Shahi, along with FPA India and the Good Business Lab will be evaluating several elements of the programme’s success: (1) Effectiveness on delivering against key outcomes for women’s health outlined in the results framework for the programme; (2) Encouragement interventions that can increase women’s likelihood of accessing family planning and reproductive health services; (3) The potential business benefit and ROI of the programme using the UN Population Fund’s assessment tool. Following the outcomes of the pilot, the programme’s methodology will be adapted and optimized with the aim of scaling it to all 65 Shahi factories.
“Shahi understands the unique health and well-being needs of women, including family planning, are directly related to their personal and professional development and sees investing in workers as a valuable strategy to enable women to contribute fully to the business and to society. This is why we are commiting to partnering with he the Family Planning Association of India to offer reproductive health information and services to our employees.” - Laura Quinn, Global Sustainability Partnerships Advisor, Shahi Exports