Walmart Foundation trains 12,000 women in India

Bengaluru : Global retail giant’s Walmart Foundation trained nearly 12,000 women with life skills in 30 factories across Gujarat, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu with Swasti Health Resources Centre of the Catalyst Group, a company official said Tuesday.

“As we are committed to the people in our supply chain, our skill training is helping to empower women in India since we launched the ‘Women in Factories’ programme in 2012,” Walmart vice-president (global sourcing) Nancy Kielty told reporters here.

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The programme, funded by the foundation, teaches selected women life skills in communication, hygiene, reproductive health, occupational health and safety, identifying personal strengths and gender sensitivity.

“We included India in the global programme, which is on track to meet our goal of training 60,000 women working in 150 factories in India, Bangladesh, China, El Salvador and Honduras by 2016,” Kielty said on the occasion.

With the help of non-government organisations (NGOs) like Swasti in India, the Foundation has trained about 40,000 female factory line workers in skills required in the workplace, at home and in their communities.

“We are also providing free a curriculum developed by Care NGO to factories interested in providing job readiness and life skill training to its women workers for greater impact on our global supply chain,” Kielty pointed out.

The novel programme, a part of the larger Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative, aims to train one million women, increase sourcing from women and improve the lives of undeserved women.

“The initiative has helped provide job training, market access and career opportunities to women the world over,” Kielty noted. Walmart and its Foundation contributed around $79 million in grants for the programmes to empower working women.

“Walmart’ Foundation’s commitment to economic empowerment of women through partnership is impressive and we appreciate its support to us in training women in India and helping them to make right choices to lead healthy lives,” Swasti director Chandra Shekhar Gowda said.

The $473-billion Walmart Stores helps people the world over save money and live better in retail stores, online, and through mobile devices.

Each week, about 250 million customers and members visit its 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries.

Walmart’s Indian subsidiary operates 20 wholesale stores in nine states across the country and a B2B e-commerce platform in four stores.