India - Lafarge contributing to women empowerment across the country

In rural India, women are too often neglected and do not have access to education and thus employment. Our local team decided to join the current government & NGOs efforts by contributing to women empowerment across the country through vocational training programs.

 

Objectives

  • Giving women access to professional skills and jobs
  • Contributing to women empowerment across the country to turn them into game-changers of their communities
  • Contributing to the local socio-economic development by giving women the means to drive their entire families

Summary

In rural India, women are traditionally at the center of the family and learn multi-tasking from a very early age, from collecting water to cooking, washing and teaching the children. Yet, they are still considered as "non productive" members of the family and their efforts are too often being ignored. However, the Indian society is changing and inclusiveness of women - recognizing them and giving them the right place at home, school and at the workplace - is now considered as the road to a sustainable social and economic development.

Lafarge India has been making a focused contribution to this effort bydeveloping different training programs across the country with the help of several recognized NGOs. Our local team thus developed vocational training programs in many domains:

  • Sewing and tailoring training schools in collaboration with a well-known manufacturer of sewing machines have been set up in five of our six Cement sites, training a total of 280 women, leading over 80 of them to gain profitable engagements from their localities or to start a commercial enterprise;
  • At our Mejiah cement plant, a skill center for employability was developed with the AROH NGO to promote different skills including basic Nursing and Beautician's courses, training more than 360 women of which 165 have been successfully placed or become self-employed entrepreneurs, 50 awaiting their appointments.
  • Finally, in several Lafarge units and to promote income generation activities amongst rural communities, women have come together to form self-help groups and seed capital was invested to set up small scale rural micro enterprises. They are being taught various manufacturing skills ranging from handicrafts with locally-sourced materials to artificial jewelry and incense sticks. Our team also helped for the development of agri-based initiatives like mushroom farming, with retailing inputs from our marketing team and support from business partners.

Results

In total more than 640 women were trained and many others helped in the development of their own business. Many of them could increase their revenue and thus contribute to lift their family.