Launched in 2011, the `Women in Factories’ program imparts critical life skills to women in India, Bangladesh, China and Central America


Bangalore, 16 December 2014: Today, the Walmart Foundation and Swasti Health Resource Center (Swasti) announced more than 12,000 women in 30 factories in three states - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat - have been trained since the program launched with Swasti in 2012. The announcement was made at the ‘Life Skills Education for Women in Factory’ conference held in Bangalore. The training program in India, which was launched by Swasti with funding from the Walmart Foundation, teaches critical life skills related to communication, hygiene, reproductive health, occupational health and safety, identifying personal strengths and gender sensitivity.

India is just one of the countries included in the global Women in Factories program, which is on track to meet its goal of reaching 60,000 women working in 150 factories in India, Bangladesh, China, El Salvador and Honduras by the end of 2016. To date, more than 40,000 female factory line workers have been trained in the types of skills needed to be successful in the workplace, at home and in their communities. In addition, a Women in Factories curriculum, developed by CARE with funding from the Walmart Foundation, is being made available by CARE to any factory or organization interested in providing job readiness and life skills training to its workers. By making this curriculum available at no cost, the training will enable greater impact by reaching more workers throughout the global supply chain.

Speaking at the conference, Nancy Kielty, VP Global Sourcing, Walmart, said: “We are committed to the communities and people in our supply chain, so it is important to us that this training is helping to empower women around the world. We are thrilled with the progress made by Swasti here in India and reaching a milestone of more than 12,000 women trained.”

The Women in Factories program is part of the larger Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Initiative, which aims to train nearly one million women, increase sourcing from women, and in doing so improve the lives of underserved women. Since its launch, the WEE initiative has helped provide job training, market access and career opportunities to women across the globe. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have contributed more than $79 million in grants toward programs to empower women.

Mr. Chandra Shekhar Gowda, Director Swasti Health Resource Center, said: “The Walmart Foundation’s commitment to economic empowerment of women through a partnership approach is impressiveand we appreciate the partnership and support provided to Swasti by Walmart Foundation to successfully implement this training in India. At Swasti we believe that we can contribute to larger development goals through an empowerment approach and particularly by empowerment of women to help them to make right choices and to lead healthy lives. This program is helping to contribute to our mission and we are extremely privileged and happy to be part of this global effort by Walmart Foundation.”

Empowering women is a global necessity and Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, through the WEE Initiative, are working towards goals to help provide women with the resources they need to succeed. More than a billion people live in poverty worldwide and approximately 70 percent of them are women. Through job training and market access, the WEE Initiative is able to help women live better and provide them with access to the economic opportunity they deserve.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts that draw on the strengths of Walmart in the arenas of sustainability, economic opportunity, and community. As part of our commitment to creating a more sustainable food system worldwide, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States. They recently exceeded a $2 billion goal to fight hunger one year ahead of schedule and have donated more than 1.5 billion pounds of food to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com 

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better -- anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook athttp://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Wal-Mart India:

Wal-Mart India Private Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world’s leading retailer renowned for its efficiency and expertise in logistics, supply chain management and sourcing. Wal-Mart India owns and operates 20 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in 9 States across India and launched B2B e-commerce platform in four stores. To enter and purchase from Best Price stores, it is mandatory to become a member. Members can belong to different business categories such as Resellers (‘Kirana Stores’); Offices and Institutions (O&I); and Hotels, Restaurants and Caterers (HoReCa).Members get the benefits of wide range of product assortment to suit their needs at competitive, consistent and transparent prices, great shopping experience, convenient payment and delivery solutions. The price structure allows profitability to the members, and also allows them to pass on the price savings to the end-customers, thereby helping them to save money and live better.


About Swasti:

Swasti is an International Health Resource Centre that was established as a registered not for profit society in 2002 to empower people and communities, particularly the poor and marginalised, to make right choices to lead healthy lives. Swasti’s main focus lies in public health while specializing in the social and management aspects of health. Swasti Health Resource Centre is part of the Catalyst Group, which comprises in addition to Swasti, Catalyst Management Services, Vrutti Livelihood Resource Centre and Fuzhio. Swasti’s one of the core competences are in developing replicable models for scaling up, sharing best practices, and cutting across the boundaries of the corporate and non-governmental sectors. The organization has been working with factories since 2006, and has reached over 16,000 workers directly and over 25,000 indirectly, the majority of whom are women. Additional information about Swasti can be found by visiting http://www.swasti.org and on Facebook. ***