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FWF’s Lisa Suess just returned from a ten day trip to India where she joined a newly developed FWF training for Indian supervisors. It was her first visit to the country. Lisa joined FWF in March 2015.
‘I spent the first four days in Bangalore and Tirupur to observe the kick-off of the new FWF training programme. By training female workers to become supervisors, the programme aims to reduce economic discrimination and change gender stereotypes. Since I don’t speak Kannada, it took me a while to figure out why our respectable trainer was cutting out a pair of panties from a newspaper. He was using it to explain the cost breakdown of a piece of garment!
While female workers are trained on technical and non-technical content to qualify them for future supervisor roles, male supervisors are mostly trained to become more aware of gender aspects and violence-free conflict solving methods. After the kick-off in Bangalore, training sessions in Tirupur will start in the coming weeks.
In Bangalore and Tirupur I met with our long-term NGO partners SAVE and Cividep as well as READ, another local NGO. These organisations implement trainings for FWF and are handling the FWF complaint hotline in South India. The rest of the trip I spent in Delhi, meeting stakeholders like the Ethical Trading Initiative and the International Labour Organisation.
Face to face
I especially enjoyed the last two days of my trip: 13 auditors, trainers and complaints handlers working for FWF all over India came together for our annual staff meeting. After an informal dinner and some games the night before, I gave a presentation about our Brand Performance Check system. Our country representatives Suhasini Singh and Rituparna Majumdar updated the team on common audit findings, complaints and current projects.
I’m very happy I finally traveled to India and met everyone face to face after five months of emails and Skype calls. It was so impressive to see how dedicated and experienced everyone is. I’m looking forward to my next visit in October!’