Event Recap: Partnership Ceremony with UNICEF for Mothers@Work

Avery Dennison and UNICEF host celebratory event, “Scaling Up Mothers@Work Program Following A Sustainable Approach”

Representatives from Avery Dennison, UNICEF Bangladesh, BGMEA and BKMEA gathered at Bangladesh’s capitol on March 12 to celebrate the partnership between Avery Dennison and UNICEF to scale up the Mothers@Work program.



Avery Dennison has teamed up with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Bangladesh to expand the reach of Mothers@Work, a national initiative to strengthen maternity rights and protect breastfeeding among working mothers in Bangladesh garment factories. Through the partnership, the Avery Dennison Foundation will provide funding of $200,000 over two years to expand the program in 160 more ready-made garments (RMG) factories in Bangladesh. 

There was a special signing ceremony and check hand-over from the Avery Dennison Foundation to UNICEF to commence the collaboration and funding support. In addition, participants enjoyed a presentation covering the details of the Mothers@Work program and a panel discussion on business sustainability in Bangladesh.

Unfortunately in Bangladesh as well as many other countries there tends to be widespread misunderstanding of the benefits of workplace breastfeeding. As a result, enterprises often fail to comply with the provisions of the labor law as it relates to breastfeeding, leading to absences and high turnover rates of female workers following maternity leave. These issues are critical in the Bangladesh garment industry, where more than 85% of apparel industry workers are female, without the right infrastructure for infant care.

Speaking at the occasion, Kenny Liu, vice president and general manager, South Asia & EMEA, Apparel Solutions, Avery Dennison, said, “There is no greater good than ensuring that women's work environments do not impede their plans for motherhood.”

The funding from the Avery Dennison Foundation will provide maternity protection and breastfeeding support in the workplace, including providing breastfeeding spaces and breaks, paid maternity leave, healthcare, employment protection, and a safe work environment for working mothers and pregnant women. 

In addition to the core grant, Avery Dennison is organizing an art-based fundraising program involving its employees. “Art from the Heart” fundraiser will feature artwork by children of Avery Dennison Bangladesh employees. A range of products created with the kids' colorful creations will be sold online, with proceeds supporting the Mothers@Work initiative.

Read more from the press release.