Gwadar, March 21 – “If I had not been earning money reasonably and respectfully in Gwadar Garment Factory located in Gwadar Port, neither I would have managed to send my kids in schools nor I would have contributed in home budget to overcome mounting challenges of daily price hike,” said Balqis Iqbal, a senior worker in Gwadar Garment Factory.
“Such awesome financial autonomy has boosted my family status as now I am not billed as a burden, rather a self-supporting producer who can share the burden of family expenses. The honor I feel in the eyes of my husband and my family members is a cause of unending pleasure to me and let me say that all credit goes to Gwadar Women Garment Factory that is first of its kind in Gwadar,” she told Gwadar Pro.
Gwadar Women Factory also known as Gwadar Women’s Development Employment Center is in operation since 2020 in collaboration with Chinese Consulate Karachi and managed by of Gwadar Women Development Organization of China Overseas Port Holding Company.
“It came into being under deep insightfulness of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to instill a significant impact on the gender equality and women empowerment in receiving countries. “Such initiative like Gwadar Garment Factory for women is in line with China’s obligations to promote women mainstreaming and women empowerment within the BRI framework under international law,” Chinese official at Gwadar port said.
Equipped with relevant sewing apparatus, airy and lighted ambience, management room and store, Gwadar Women Garment Factory has become a talk of town as it is not only a new window of opportunity to train unskilled women but also letting semi-skilled female tailers to hone their stitching acumen as per modern demands.
Gwadar Garment Factory is also being supervised by local woman Zaitoon Abdullah, who is also a social worker in Gwadar. In exclusive interview to Gwadar Pro, she said that Gwadar Garment Factory is a true success story for creating spiral ripples in women empowerment.
All women working here are given pick and drop services free of cost and that is why their families are quite satisfied for their commutation. “As we have complete confidence in Chinese and Gwadar Port Operator, so sense always prevails that our women are safe in their workplace,” Rahim Baloch, a social worker in Gwadar said.
Gwadar Garment Factory Assistant Manager Zaitoon Abdullah noted that Gwadar Manufacturing jobs like tailoring is a rewarding career choice for creative women professionals in Gwadar who like working with fabrics. With their skills and knowledge to create garments that meet clients’ expectations, all women working in Gwadar Garment Factory have a bright professional path on various upscale garment industry in Pakistan, she added.
She said that over the last two years Gwadar Garment Factory has become at least so efficient that it has been stitching almost all uniforms of workers of Chinese companies in Gwadar Port. “Our women tailers are also stitching Pakistan traditional male clothes as souvenirs for Chinese high-ups facilitating them to wear them on Pakistan special days,” she added. As these women are so talented, so constant energy is being devoted to making embroidery work to scale up revenue, she added.
“Women in Gwadar are very talented, but previously, they did not have any platform to show their skills. There are several vocational training institutes to teach basic stitching skills to women, but the center is the first of the kind to provide an opportunity to skilled women to generate income in an organized way,” she said.
Most of the women at the center are not much educated, while having big dreams to do something for themselves and their families, so they joined the center and work hard to see their dreams coming true, she said.
COPHC chairman Yu Bo said the Gwadar Garment Factory is also a starting point to help women to be financially independent, giving them an opportunity to play their pivotal role to improve their standards of living and fight against poverty.