Awaj Foundation has had a long-running partnership with GIZ to improve working conditions in the RMG sector by empowering female garment workers. Support from GIZ was instrumental in setting up the Women’s Cafes – community-based centers that provide support to garment workers on work related issues and a safe space for women workers to take a break from work and home duties.
The women’s cafes work as a one-stop shop for learning and resources for workers. At these cafes workers are given a wide range of trainings, on labour law, participatory committees, trade unions, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, anti-harassment committees, leadership, communication, social dialogue and negotiation, among others. Support is also provided by project staff to resolve disputes between workers and management. The women’s cafes also connect workers with services provided by government bodies and civil society organizations, as needed.
This project provides legal aid to workers on workplace issues and family disputes. To date, the women’s cafes have helped to resolve over 15,000 legal complaints of workers.