INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
Artistic Milliners, Bestseller, WOW, BSR Partner for Women’s Empowerment on HERessentials
Building upon its longstanding commitment to supporting its female workers and its existing HERhealth program, the Karachi, Pakistan–headquartered denim maker Artistic Milliners announced on March 7 its women’s-empowerment partnership with fashion company Bestseller. Through this collaboration, Artistic Milliners and Bestseller will work together with the United Kingdom’s flagship women’s economic empowerment program Work and Opportunities for Women to unveil the Business for Social Responsibility HERessentials initiative in Pakistan. The initiative was announced to fortify women’s roles in a country where progress related to female-equity issues has been stunted due to COVID-19.
“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, all of us are very badly impacted, and the fashion-industry supply chain is disrupted. However, women, being the most vulnerable group, were the worst hit. We have to remember that women are also at the center of recovery as we build better together,” explained Artistic Milliners General Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Communications Faiza Jamil. “Programs like HERessentials provide social support for women by bridging the digital gap between men and women and giving them the platform to access important information related to managing the crisis and information that is very essential for their health and financial security.”
Through this program, which was announced as March 8’s International Women's Day approached, Artistic Milliners will afford opportunities to women managers and factory workers to bridge the gender gap through the HERessentials initiative. Participants in the program will receive stress-management training, instruction in effective communication, health information and financial-literacy guidance.
“We have successfully launched many women’s economic-empowerment programs at Artistic Milliners. However, HERessentials is one of its kind in terms of its adaptability to changing times,” said Artistic Milliners Managing Director Murtaza Ahmed. “We are excited to collaborate with our brand partner Bestseller to bring this program to Pakistan. It is heartening that they support our passion to help women excel in their careers. With the right implementation, HERessentials has the potential to change the lives of many marginalized women in Pakistan.”
HERessentials will be implemented through tablet instruction, a part of the initiative that seeks to increase technology literacy for women in a country where more than 60 percent of female citizens are illiterate. Many women and girls in Pakistan do not have access to education or are not permitted to attend school due to socioeconomic and cultural factors.
“We are inspired by Artistic Milliners’ commitment toward women’s economic empowerment. I am confident that our collaboration to equip women workers with the most relevant tools will directly contribute to their progressive role and success at work as well as to society,” said Andrei Vasilev, social impact manager at Bestseller. “Our long-term vision is to make HERessentials training available to all vulnerable groups of women workers in Pakistan.”
Through the Artistic Milliners-Bestseller-BSR HERessentials collaboration, which is supported by WOW, these organizations are dedicating resources to help Pakistani women, many of whom work in Pakistan’s factories, to overcome the barriers to empowerment.
“Both Artistic Milliners and Bestseller have demonstrated a long-term commitment to women workers, and we are excited to take this new step of introducing a digital-learning app in partnership with them and inspired by the bigger ambition to catalyze improvements for women workers across the garment sector in Pakistan,” said Christine Svarer, WOW team leader and director at BSR’s HERproject. “From a HERproject perspective, we are also looking forward to once again working in Pakistan.”