OUR COMMITMENT
HER FUTURE

At ANN INC., we believe every woman deserves a chance to be her best self every day. Through our Responsibly ANN commitment, we’re dedicated to empowering 100,000 women in our global supply chain community who make our beautiful products. By providing health and financial education, we are giving women all over the world the opportunity to reach their full potential. It’s our commitment. It’s her future.

  

GLOBAL IMPACT

TO DATE

  • # OF WOMEN IMPACTED
    47,000
  • # OF COUNTRIES COVERED BY THE PROGRAMS


    6
  • # OF FACTORIES IMPACTED



    28
  • # OF PEER EDUCATORS



    1,000
  • % OF APPAREL SOURCED THROUGH PARTNERS TRAINED IN HERPROJECT CURRICULUM
    50%

GLOBAL
RESPONSIBILITY

ANN INC. is committed to building a supply chain that supports women. We are bringing this commitment to life through health and financial literacy training in factories around the world. Learn more about some of the important issues facing the women working in our Suppliers’ factories and the improvements they have seen from access to health and financial education.

BANGLADESH
CHINA
INDIA
VIETNAM
INDONESIA
PHILIPPINES
BANGLADESH
CHINA
INDIA
VIETNAM
INDONESIA
PHILIPPINES

BANGLADESH

Women represent 85% of the garment industry in Bangladesh. At one factory, we found that women have little understanding of the risks associated with using unhygienic materials, such as cloth scraps from the factory floor, during menstruation. These women often avoid buying sanitary napkins because they are embarrassed or cannot afford the items.

IMPACT OF HERHEALTH

Through HER Health, trainers addressed common cultural myths and misconceptions related to menstrual hygiene. The factory was introduced to service providers to help make sanitary napkins both available and affordable. After the HERhealth program, participants stopped using cloth scraps from the factory floor, and increased their use of sanitary napkins. Removing the stigma around menstruation and other reproductive issues also helped women feel more comfortable seeking treatment for other health concerns.

CHINA

In China, one of the issues identified during HERhealth was that female workers were not seeking professional health care when they did not feel well and tried to cope with illnesses on their own.

IMPACT OF HERHEALTH

During the HERhealth training, Peer Educators raised awareness among workers of the importance of seeking medical help when they were not feeling well. In addition, the factory signed a long-term agreement with a community service center to provide special training on the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and cervical cancer.

INDIA

In India, we found that one of the biggest health issues facing women was limited awareness of the various family planning options available to them. There was also a strong stigma associated with people infected with HIV/AIDS and a lack of knowledge about the virus and other sexually transmitted diseases.

IMPACT OF HERHEALTH

Through the HER Health program, trainers focused on educating the women and sensitizing them to the topics of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Once Peer Educators understood how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and who is at risk, they felt comfortable sharing the information with the other women. After the intervention, almost 100% of women understood that HIV can be prevented.

INDONESIA

In Indonesia, we found that women did not exercise regularly and were unaware of the health benefits of regular activity. Because they were not taking care of their bodies they were often suffering from back and shoulder pain and fatigue after work.

IMPACT OF HERHEALTH

To address this issue, one factory in Indonesia instituted daily morning exercise sessions to increase the health and strength of its employees. Not only did this exercise routine encourage physical activity among workers, it raised awareness of the importance of regular exercise, and decreased the amount of fatigue experienced by the workforce.

PHILIPPINES

In the Philippines, there is an opportunity to increase access to reproductive health information and services. Our trainings will provide opportunities for women to learn about reproductive health and family planning.

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, the cancer mortality rate is much higher than the world average and the average for developing countries. There is a growing need for more information on breast cancer and how to self detect suspected symptoms. At one of ANN INC.’s Supplier’s factories, only 50% of women had ever heard of breast cancer, showing the importance of raising awareness of this issue.

IMPACT OF HERHEALTH

During the HERhealth intervention, there was a strong focus on raising awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection. Peer Educator trainings included important facts on the disease and provided guidance on how to conduct self-breast examinations. Knowledge of the disease and early detection increased dramatically and will hopefully have a huge impact on the women’s health.

 

EMPOWERING WOMEN

ANN INC. is committed to positively impacting the lives of 100,000 women across its global supply chain by driving the following key programs:

EMPOWERMENT STARTS WITH EDUCATION

One of the key ways we are impacting women is by providing them with BSR’s HERhealth and HERfinance programs. Learn more about these programs and the impacts we are already observing at our Suppliers’ factories.


HERHEALTH CURRICULUM

BSR developed the HERhealth Curriculum in partnership with local partner organizations and global health and development experts. The Curriculum is based on best practices from health education training sessions, and learnings from working in factories and farms around the world. Program topics cover issues that directly impact women and their families, and range from waterborne illness to eating healthy to maternal health and family planning.



HERHEALTH IMPACT

The HERhealth program is delivering real results. Across the participating factories, the following improvements have been observed amongst female participants:




HERFINANCE CURRICULUM

The mission of HERfinance is to build the financial capacity of low-income workers in global supply chains by delivering workplace-based financial education programs and connecting factory employees to appropriate financial services. The HERfinance Curriculum was developed based on globally recognized best practices in financial literacy training, and covers topics such as financial planning, savings, borrowing responsibly, and how to talk about finances as a family.



HERFINANCE IMPACT

HERfinance is already seeing real results. Across the factories that have participated, female participants have:



REAL WOMEN
& THEIR STORIES

Hear from some of the women who have already been positively impacted from the programs.

Saraswati Devi

Seamstress
India


Saraswati Devi lives alone in the Indian Himalayas, a common occurrence for women living in the remote village. Her husband left for better work opportunities at a neighboring village, and her son lives with him to attend school. The 34-year-old only sees her family once every two months.

Her days used to be long, hard and lonely, waking up before sunrise to forage for firewood in the forest. She made very little money and worried often about her well being.

Now she makes money by sewing, an opportunity made possible by the ANN Inc. and Village Ways Charitable Trust. In addition to the financial benefits, sewing has also brought her closer to the other women in the village, and has lessened her loneliness, talking to her colleagues while working and sitting in the sun.

This partnership has also brought in master health educators from Delhi to teach Saraswati and her friends about good health, hygiene and nutrition. Saraswati often worked on an empty stomach, but now she understands the importance of investing in her own health and eats a low cost, but balanced breakfast before starting her chores. She also learned to keep typhoid and jaundice at bay by using water sanitation tablets.

Thanks to ANN Inc. and Village Ways Charitable Trust, Saraswati has been able to grow her skills, and her income. Most importantly, she worries less about her daily life and dreams more about her future.

Munni Devi

Seamstress
India


Sirmati Munni Devi lives in a village nestled in the Indian Himalayas with her two children. The 33-year-old used to endure long hard days of farming and trekking to the forest to collect firewood, while also juggling childcare and household chores. With all of her responsibilities, she had no time to take care of herself and, besides, the closest clinic was miles away.

However, thanks to a partnership between ANN Inc. and Village Ways Charitable Trust, her life has dramatically improved. By learning to sew, Munni now makes products for LOFT and Ann Taylor. It allows her to make more money in less time, which frees her to tend to her and her children’s needs.

In addition to helping out financially, sewing has created and deepened friendships with the other women in the village. At the newly constructed community center, Munni shares her daily ups-and-downs with her peers, as well as listening and supporting her fellow colleagues. Best of all, the additional income has made it possible for her children to attend school.

The partnership between ANN Inc. and Village Ways Charitable Trust has also brought health and hygiene education programs to Munni’s village. These classes have taught Munni how to cook low-cost nutritious meals for herself and her family. She also takes fewer sick days from work, with the knowledge she has learned, like how to decontaminate water by bringing it to a boil.

Now, as a peer health educator, Munni is excited to share her findings with her friends and neighbors. There has already been a noticeable reduction in typhoid and jaundice at her village—two diseases that used to be commonplace.

Munni often wonders about the women who buy the products she makes. If they ever met, she would like to thank them repeatedly for giving her a new lease at life.

Tham

Quality Assurance
Binh Duong, Vietnam


I have 6 years experience in the garment industry. I come from a family of 10 people, and my father lives with my younger sister in my hometown of Kien Giang Province and I am a sponsor for them. The HERproject was the first time I joined a health care training program. It improved my knowledge about nutrition and relaxing. Before I didn’t care much about these matters, but after this program, I have learned that these are very important. I enjoy sharing what I learned in training with my colleagues and my friends.

Before participating in the program, most of us haven’t taken much care of our health. But after the program we know how to treasure ourselves and better take care of our family members.

Anju Devi

Seamstress
India


When Anju Devi was 15 years old, she was married into a family with fewer means than her own. Her dreams of pursuing an education and becoming a teacher were quickly dashed as she took on the needs of her in-laws, while also providing for her three children. Eventually, Devi and her husband left their home state of Bihar for better work opportunities in Delhi.

Anju, now 30, has been working at Richa Global for the past ten years. Her factory income has allowed her to contribute to her family’s financial burdens as an equal partner and has also enabled her to send her children to school, so they can have a better future. But perhaps equally important to her paycheck is her self-confidence, which has blossomed, loving the fact that her hard work is appreciated in stores around the world.

In 2015, Ann Inc. partnered with Richa to invest in their factory workers’ health and wellness. Anju’s positive attitude quickly made her one of the factory’s favorite peer health educators, helping teach 1,500 workers about topics ranging from nutrition to water sanitation, disease prevention and family planning. Fellow workers, her supervisor and even the General Manager have appreciated her efforts. She now feels valued and hopes to work and grow at Richa forever.

Once underweight, Anju’s own health has greatly improved. Often skipping breakfast to rush to work or having to call in sick, she now understands the importance of eating breakfast to remain alert during work and purifying water to prevent illness. In addition, Anju and other women at the factory used to use discarded clothing scraps during their menstrual cycles, resulting in infections and the need to call in sick. Now, they used sanitary napkins and eat an iron-rich diet to combat anemia.

Anju has been excited to share her health knowledge with her friends and neighbors. She used to be ashamed of her lack of education and would worry that it would hold her children back at school. Now, she stands proudly in front of 500 children, parents and faculty to educate them on their health and was recently asked by her children’s school to teach a health class on Sundays. Her dreams of becoming a teacher have come true after all.

Wan Zhang

Quality Management
Panyu, China


I have 10 years of working experience in the garment industry. I live in Panyu with my son who is in high-school. I love Chinese New Year because it is a long holiday and I can spend time with family. Joining the HERproject recently helped to enrich my health knowledge, and especially helped me to clear a lot of uncertainty. I have learned that regular check-ups and treatment at early stage are very important.

Fen Yan

Sewer
Panyu, China


I have been working as a sewer for 3 years now. While, my hometown is Heyuan, Guangdong, I now live in Panyu with my husband and two lovely sons. I was inspired by the knowledge that other lady workers received through the HERproject training, so I decided that I wanted to become a Peer Educator too. From the training, I learned about gynecological as well as psychological health, so whenever I am stressed, I know how to solve these issues. Through the HERproject, I feel that I am more active, happy and motivated.

Before I became a peer educator, all I ever did was come to work and take care of my family, nothing else. My life became so fulfilled after I became a Peer Educator.

Gui fang

Quality Management
Panyu, China


I have more than 11 years of working experience in the garment industry. I live in Panyu with my husband and my 17-year old son, who is in high-school. After the HERproject women’s health training last year, I learned the symptoms of some gynecological sicknesses, how to prevent them and what kind of symptoms to look for. I also learned about the importance of women’s health, and how being healthy allows us to work and take care of our families. I can now answer my fellow workers’ questions and can explain to them how to properly care for themselves. I like that I am able to share my knowledge with my friends and colleagues.

I am empowered by being a Peer Educator of the HERproject, which helped me to understand more about other women and myself.

Deepa

Seamtress
Uttrakhand, India


Deepa is a seamstress, who completed high school and recently finished college. She has been stitching scarves for Village Ways Charitable Trust for three years. Stitching is a source of extra income for her, and she is the only one in her family who works as an artisan. She wants to continue to learn new techniques and one day become a skilled seamstress. Deepa finds the training to be very valuable to her even beyond the monetary benefit, and uses the money she earns to help her mom and dad.

Chinh

Utility Officer
Hai Duong, Vietnam


Chinh has worked in Hai Duong for 3 years and has 6 years of experience in the garment industry. Chinh has a husband and a 5 year old son, and she is pregnant with their second child. Chinh enjoys playing with her son and cooking her favorite dishes for her family and friends. The introduction of the HERproject to her factory has given Chinh greater access to information about her pregnancy, what to expect caring for a newborn, and resources concerning her post-childbirth health. Chinh is excited to welcome a healthy baby in a few months. Chinh considers herself to be a very open person who enjoys helping others, and she hopes to have the opportunity to support and empower other women through the HERproject.

Quynh

Sewing Leader
Binh Duong, Vietnam


I have 6 years of garment industry experience. I live in Binh Duong with my husband who also works at the same factory. I think that women’s health education is very important since we need to take care of ourselves and our families. I feel honored to be one of 40 Peer Educators in my factory in the HERproject program, which provides training on women’s health care and reproductive health before and after childbirth. I like to share the knowledge I gained through training with my family and friends, as well as female workers in the company.

It’s my honor to be a Peer Educator and to share the knowledge with my family and friends.

Yong Hong

Sewing line leader
Panyu, China


I have almost 11 years of working experience in the garment industry. I have been living in Panyu for 13 years now, and my husband and I both work at the same factory. We have two daughters and they are studying at the junior school near the factory. After the HERproject training I am aware of my own health including how to do self-examinations, prevent common gynecological sicknesses, and how to relieve stress from work. With my new health knowledge, I will try to influence my family and friends to change their daily habits and to develop a healthier lifestyle. It’s great that we can all work happily together, that’s why I love being a Peer Educator.

Of course health is very important to everyone, it is even more important to women because we have the same workload as men, and after work, have to take care of their families and educate the children.

Pooja

Weaver
Uttrakhand, India


Pooja is a weaver and has been with Village Ways Charitable Trust for over a year. She is married with two children, a boy and a girl. Her husband works away from home, and weaving enables her to earn a second income which helps to create a better life for her family.

“I like working with Village Ways Charitable Trust. I realized if I wanted to better my children’s lives I needed to stand on my own feet and earn a living. I enjoy weaving, it is a lovely skill. I feel that if I continue to get this work I will be able to support my family. I want to educate my children so they can have a better life. I enjoy working with Village Ways Charitable Trust. They give us pride of work and income. We feel respected. Weaving these beautiful scarves gives us so much hope, a hope of a better life for our children.”
 

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