Women's empowerment

We embrace our responsibility to ensuring that all of these women enjoy the best possible working conditions and the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

In many of our operating markets the garment industry is key to the local economies and it is women who hold most of the jobs across all phases of the production chain. Against this backdrop, we assume and embrace our responsibility to ensuring that all of these women enjoy the best possible working conditions and the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

Women are at the heart of all of the programmes we run under the umbrella our of sustainable supply chain management effort. And, aware of the relevance of their role, we are striving to take a step forward towards gender equality and women's empowerment.

In keeping with Sustainable Development Goal number 5 - focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls - and in line with our stated target of generating a positive impact on the communities in which we operate, in 2017 we approved a Women Empowerment Strategy in the Supply Chain which is articulated around three pillars: health, protection and empowerment.

One of our key goals is to foster gender equality

This strategy adds to our tools for delivering continuous improvement by layering in a gender perspective so as to prompt us to tackle sensitive female issues and develop specific actions and practices in the gender arena.

Health

To look out for the health of the women working in our supply chain, particularly their reproductive health and feminine hygiene, we run projects focused on:

  • Training and taskforces addressing: family planning and reproductive health, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and the prevention of related diseases, HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases.
  • Promotion of access to quality health services inside or in the vicinity of factories.
  • Special protection of women during pregnancy and nursing.
  • Ensuring female workers receive the information they need to take informed decisions about their own health.
  • Improving factory management in the workplace health arena.

Health in Morocco

In Morocco, Inditex has designed a project in collaboration with the NGO Medicus Mundi Andalusia for the provision of medical care to more than 500 women in Tangier. The initiative also encompasses the provision of training on health protection and risks to staff at the factories involved in the project.

Protection

We champion specific programmes with the aim of preventing and helping to eradicate discrimination, harassment and abuse in the workplace:

  • Educating factory managers and workers so that they can identify potential signs of domestic violence.
  • Making women more aware of their own situation in respect of discrimination, providing them with legal education. 
  • Promoting zero-tolerance policies at the factory level with respect to all forms of violence in the workplace, including verbal and physical abuse, and policies for the prevention of sexual harassment.
  • Minimising risks faced by women in the vicinity of the factories. 

Health and protection in India - The Sakhi project

We believe it is vital that we undertake special projects that attempt to tackle the roots of specific problems affecting women in India. The Sakhi project (sakhi means 'female friend' in Hindi) is structured into two parts: Sakhi Health & Sakhi Gender Equity. Both address two fundamental aspects of the plight of women in this Asian country: health and the prevention of harassment | abuse.


 

Protection in Turkey

In 2016 we embarked on a pilot project in Turkey at a factory with 250 workers. During the first phase, we analysed the possible causes of gender discrimination in this country. Phase two of this programme was launched on the basis of the results of this analysis with the aim of improving the quality of living and working conditions of Turkish female workers, while achieving full awareness at the factory management level. 227 workers -85% of them, women- were involved in this project.

Empowerment

Empowerment means providing women with the tools for participating actively in the workplace so as to improve the quality of life of women, men, children, families, communities and society in general and contribute to building solid and fair societies.

Our empowerment programmes are focused on:

  • Encouraging suppliers to develop gender and diversity policies and integrate them into their management systems.
  • Providing training and awareness regarding labour and social rights in order to help women advance in the workplace.
  • Strengthening the women's association movement by means of education, debate and insight and fostering alliances with local women's associations.  
  • Fostering paired mentoring programmes at the factory level, so that female leaders educate and train other female workers.

Protection and empowerment in India - The Sowbhagyam project

The Sowbhagyam project is an example of how we put women's empowerment into action. The goal of this programme is to raise awareness among communities, recruiters and other stakeholders and educated them about safe and fair work practices for women in the state of Tamil Nadu, in south-east India.

This project, in action since 2013, includes training activities covering fundamental rights, provided by local NGO SAVE with the participation of schemes such as the Tamil Nadu Multi Stakeholder Initiative (TNMS), which is promoted by the Ethical Trading Initiative in which NGOs, unions, local governments and other stakeholders participate.