The Power of Nutrition and PVH Corp. announced a new partnership that will help tackle undernutrition in the ready-made garment (RMG) industry by introducing essential nutrition services and support for working mothers and pregnant women in PVH suppliers’ factories in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s RMG industry employs over 4 million people, of which over 60% are women. Almost half of factory workers are believed to experience malnutrition and anaemia, a condition made worse for many women when they become pregnant. The partnership between PVH and The Power of Nutrition forms part of a four year, $15 million national programme through which UNICEF Bangladesh is supporting the Government of Bangladesh to scale up critical nutrition interventions for pregnant women and children in Bangladesh districts where undernutrition rates are highest.
With support from PVH, UNICEF Bangladesh and The Power of Nutrition will introduce an additional core package of nutrition support in eight PVH supplier factories through UNICEF’s Mothers@Work programme. Mothers@Work was launched by UNICEF to provide minimum standards of maternity protection and breastfeeding support to women in RMG factories, including breastfeeding spaces and breaks, childcare provision, paid maternity leave, cash and medical benefits, employment protection and non-discrimination, and safe-work provision for expectant mothers. The programme has successfully reached 92 factories and 160,000 workers. PVH’s investment in The Power of Nutrition and UNICEF’s programme will also support in-country advocacy to strengthen the nutrition regulatory framework in Bangladesh and protect working women and mothers’ rights.
Smruti Govan, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility at PVH said “At PVH, we recognize that we have an important role to play in investing in the health and prosperity of our people and their communities. Through our partnership with The Power of Nutrition, we are supporting an innovative initiative to provide access to critical services for working mothers and ultimately empower women in the global supply chain – a crucial priority within our Forward Fashion strategy. We are excited to enter this new partnership as it will truly make a difference to working women in our factories and set a model for potential expansion.”
By accessing match funding and working through The Power of Nutrition’s multi-sectoral model, PVH’s investment will be leveraged over four times. The overall partnership in Bangladesh is expected to reach over one million women and have a positive long-term impact on the country’s nutrition as well as socio-economic levels by addressing the root causes of stunting and encouraging more productive, healthy communities.
Michelle Thompson, Director of Partnerships and Brands at The Power of Nutrition said: “We are delighted to welcome PVH to our growing network of partners from a range of sectors committed to ending undernutrition. This partnership is a great example of businesses playing an active role in improving the health of the communities they work within, while benefiting from pooling resources and expertise with other sectors for maximum impact. We are excited to see the results of our joint work.”