The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Asian University for Women (AUW) have entered into a new partnership to pave the way for female garment workers in Bangladesh to fulfill their dreams of higher studies.
BGMEA and AWU will collaborate to expand, enhance and promote the education, leadership and empowerment of female garment workers in Bangladesh.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and Vice Chancellor of AUW Dr. Rubana Huq inked the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of their respective sides at a hotel in Chattogram on January 22.
From BGMEA, First Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam, Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Directors Asif Ashraf, Md. Mohiuddin Rubel and M. Ahsanul Hoq, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on UD-Woven & Knit Md. Nurul Islam while from AUW its Founder Kamal Ahmad, Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Beena Khurana, Board of Trustee Member Catherine Watters-Sasanuma, Board Member of AUW Support Foundation Kathy Matsui, and Acting Dean of Students Suman Chatterjee were present at the MoU signing ceremony.
The collaboration aims to create opportunity for more female workers from Bangladesh’s garment factories to study higher education at AUW free of cost with support from their respective employers.
Under the new partnership, BGMEA will cooperate with AUW to facilitate enrolment of 500 qualified females working in RMG factories in Bangladesh in AUW’s five-year university education “Pathways for Promise” program.
Pathways for Promise, an initiative within the AUW and BGMEA, provides free education to talented women from among Bangladeshi garment factory workers.
Already over 90 girls, who are RMG workers, are studying at AUW. During the years of studying, the factory authorities pay regular monthly salary to the workers enrolled in AUW so that their families do not face any hardship.
AUW provides each Pathways scholar a financial aid package that fully covers all costs of room, board, tuition, books and supplies, primary health care and other basic needs throughout the entire duration of her participation to the Pathways for Promise Program.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said, “The RMG industry is not only the biggest of export earnings but also a means for millions of people to fulfill their dreams. The Pathways for Promise is a glowing example of how the RMG industry contributes to women realize their dreams, earn dignity in family and society with education and employment.”
“I believe, through today’s MoU signing ceremony, we will take the partnership between AUW and BGMEA to another level and we will be able to contribute more,” he added.
Only women who have completed high school are eligible to apply and have to take selection exams. Those who passed are interviewed and successful get admission to the university for higher studies.