Project location: Lesotho
Funding: £40,825
Year / duration: 2012 / 1 Year
Partner: Skillshare International

The garment industry in Lesotho is booming and is currently Africa’s biggest exporter of clothes to the US with many big brands such as Levis and Gap manufacturing here. However, the industry falls short of international standards with maternity rights a growing concern.

TRAID is funding Skillshare International to work with factories, and the government, to increase paid maternity leave for low paid garment worker. An extension to paid maternity leave for workers in Lesotho would have a hugely positive impact on women and children’s lives, and has been shown to lead to much higher skilled staff retention, far outweighing maternity benefit costs paid by employers.

Skillshare will train factory workers and management to understand labour and gender rights, and how this can improve relations and productivity in the workplace. On the factory floor, Skillshare will train 500 women workers on labour law and gender rights who in turn will educate their peers.

With factories under increasing pressure from international brands to provide evidence of good practice in the work place, Skillshare improving maternity rights will be good for factories as well as workers.