Ira Puspadewi, (above right), who supports the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program in several countries, shares her story on International Women's Day.
The Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program allows me to work closely with the women who make our clothes. I see their passion, their smiles and I can absolutely relate to them.
P.A.C.E. helps female garment workers advance in the workplace and at home, by providing life skills education and enhanced technical skills training.
Women hold 80 percent of all garment worker jobs globally. However, our experience in the industry shows that many garment workers don’t have the skills they need to advance in the workplace.
One important skill is communication.Through P.A.C.E., these women are learning not only to communicate better, but to solve problems, make better decisions, manage their time and finances and appreciate the notion of gender equality.
It’s giving them real opportunities at work and helping to improve their relations at home.
You’d be amazed how empowering this will make someone feel. These women are becoming more confident and self-reliant and are becoming real leaders in their communities.
As a woman and mother myself, it makes me feel so proud to watch a female garment worker begin to flourish. When that happens, we all benefit.