Local Solutions for a Global Economy

Walmart Foundation supports training for 30,000 women

Walmart Foundation Supports GFI and SEWA to Train
30,000 Women for Work in India’s Booming Retail Sector

GFI/SEWA Program Targets India’s “Women’s Employment Gap” by Preparing Tens of Thousands of Women for Full Employment in Retail Sales and Management

Washington, DC and Ahmedabad, India – With support from the Walmart Foundation, the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) and the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) have launched a robust program to deliver high-value, opportunity–driven training in retail sales and management to more than 30,000 women in India. Tailored to employment in the retail sector, and rooted in SEWA’s highly regarded life skills training methodology, the Retail Opportunity Training Initiative (ROTI) is certificate-level instruction designed to help bridge the opportunity gap between India’s underemployed women and the country’s fastest growing economic sector.

"We are thrilled to be working with the support of the Walmart Foundation on this game-changing initiative,” said Karen A. Tramontano, President, Global Fairness Initiative. “We applaud the Walmart Foundation’s leadership in launching programs that help empower and create more equitable opportunities for women producers and workers.”

The Retail Opportunity Training Initiative’s goals are to:

• Develop and deliver a world class, certificate-level curriculum on Retail Sales and Management emphasizing essential technical and “life skills” necessary for full and successful employment • Create a center for excellence in retail sector leadership and employment within the highly regarded SEWA Manager Ni School • Matriculate and graduate more than 30,000 women trained and empowered for a career in retail sales and supported by a robust job placement platform aimed at promoting women, and placing women certificate holders, in India’s organized retail sector

“The Walmart Foundation is proud to support this collaboration between the Global Fairness Initiative and the Self-Employed Women’s Association. Working together and drawing on their complementary skills and expertise, these organizations will help thousands of women build successful careers in retail, leading to greater economic mobility and stronger communities,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation.

Certificate-level courses will be administered in SEWA Training Centers and will be available to any applicants, female and male, meeting basic criteria and including those from SEWA’s nearly 1.5 million members throughout India. The trainings courses will be led by SEWA’s Manager Ni School (SMS) which brings an exceptional reputation for excellence in leadership development, and draws on an unparalleled network of Master Instructors.

"We are pleased to be partnering with our friends at GFI to launch this important program with the Walmart Foundation's support," said Reema Nanavaty, General Secretary of the Self-Employed Women's Association. “It is a most welcome and valuable opportunity to further the SEWA mission of empowering women with the essential tools and knowledge they need to realize their personal and entrepreneurial goals.”

About SEWA The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a trade union organization of over 1.5 million self-employed women workers who earn a living through their own labor or small businesses. SEWA’s primary goals are to organize women to ensure that every family obtains full employment. SEWA’s belief is that all women should be autonomous both economically and in terms of their decision-making ability. Based in Gujarat India, SEWA has organized women producers through India, Asia, and around the globe. SEWA’s approach to organizing is area specific and demand driven and livelihood activities are structured according to local needs and regional characteristics. To learn more about SEWA visit: www.sewa.org

About GFI The Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) aims to change the global poverty cycle through market-based initiatives that benefit small-holder producers and workers around the globe. Through community-based programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, GFI leads strategic partnerships and interventions that enable more equitable opportunity and drive full-employment for the working poor. GFI’s critical programs emphasize social protections and economic access, and ensure that the voices of the poor are integrated into public policy and echoed by decision makers in order to create a more equitable social and economic environment for small and marginalized producers. Focusing on the bottom line, namely strengthening wages, market access, decent work, and livelihoods as a whole, GFI has helped to improve the lives of thousands of workers and communities worldwide. To learn more about GFI visit: www.globalfairness.org

About Philanthropy at Walmart Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts that draw on the strengths of Walmart in the arenas of sustainability, economic opportunity, and community. As part of our commitment to creating a more sustainable food system worldwide, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States. They recently exceeded a $2 billion goal to fight hunger one year ahead of schedule and have donated more than 1.5 billion pounds of food to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.

Learn more about the program