With the theme for International Women’s Day this year, being Balance for Better, Selyn – Sri Lanka’s only fair-trade certified Handloom Company recognised their male employees who work hard to empower and enable women.
Speaking of their Women’s Day #HeforSTHRI initiative SelynaPeiris, Director Business Development Selyn, said, “This year in celebration of women’s day we thought to take a different approach and recognize the men within Selyn who work hard towards empowering and enabling the women who work with us. It is not enough only focus on empowering women and expect men to follow. Changing norms and behaviours is crucial, thus a collective challenge for men and women, who consciously or unconsciously often perpetuate social norms in the way they raise their sons or interact with men.”
Hilary Wanduragala, Managing Director, Selyn is a strong believer in empowering women, he said, “I believe that when you empower a woman, you empower a household and that’s why it is important to focus on providing our women with the ability and the equal opportunities to do so. At Selyn we value and have empowered women in rural areas by giving them work, no matter the hardships they faced in their lives which provided them with a very valuable sense of security.”
Selyn helps women by giving them the option of working from home to cater to the women who wished to work but their responsibilities kept them at home, where now over 200 women work for Selyn from the comfort of their own homes. Apart from the homeworker system, they have also put in place an immense child support by way of a day-care, and the women are well backed with the provision of bicycles for easier commutes to the factory and back, as well as health camps, life skills and many other training in various other aspects of life.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, Selyn will continue to create equal working opportunities and recognize that we need new approaches and huge efforts to achieve this objective. Recognizing that men have to be engaged in order to continue the journey towards achieving equal rights for women is one such approach.
Selyn Exporters (Pvt) Ltd began operations in 1991 working with 15 women in the village of Wanduragala in Kurunegala and has since grown into a network of around 1,000 workers across the island. Selyn exports its fair-trade products to 40 countries around the world and at the same time retails in premium locations across the country.