Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs): Bayer & Evidence Project Launch New Initiative

Today at the 2016 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) annual event, Bayer and the Evidence Project launched a package of online health education materials that are designed to make critical information on women’s health available to workers in low and middle income countries.

Evidence logoNEW YORK, March 16 2016 –   Today at the 2016 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) annual event, Bayer and the Evidence Project launched a package of online health education materials that are designed to make critical information on women’s health available to workers in low and middle income countries.

For the first time, these standardized, evidence-based materials – to be used by workplaces around the world to educate their workforce and keep them healthy – will be accessible at the click of a button.

“Health information should be only a click away for workplaces that employ the millions of women – and men – who work in factories or farms that are suppliers to the global economy,” said Dr. Ulrich-Dietmar Madeja, Executive Director for Access to Medicines of Bayer.  “Too often, nurses in the infirmary or health and safety officers cannot get hold of materials because health agencies are too distant or have run out. Yet, there’s an easy solution.”

In partnership, Bayer and the Evidence Project have made these health materials accessible online, and specifically designed them to be printed on desktop printers. They are targeted to formal workplaces that produce goods for the global supply chains of multi-national corporations, and any workplace with an internet connection and a printer can access them.

As the materials are online, workplaces can easily download and print them onsite – as needed – by using existing internet connections and desktop printers at the office. Most workplaces that export to the global economy must have an internet connection and printers in order to do business. The goal is to use these common IT resources to help improve worker health.

The package includes handouts and small wall posters that promote education on key issues facing workers, particularly women workers, including:

  • Reproductive health and family planning
  • Menstrual hygiene
  • Handwashing
  • Male engagement in family health
  • Nutrition (forthcoming)

To ensure the handouts look attractive and sharp in black and white, the materials were designed specifically for black and white printers commonly found in workplaces.  A simple color version is also available. Most health education materials use multiple colors and photographs that look good only when professionally printed and are expensive to mass produce.

“If we want workplace nurses and health trainers to use health educations materials in the workplace, they need to be accessible, affordable, and attractive” said David Wofford, Senior Advisor for Workplace Policy with the Evidence Project/RAISE Health. “A firm’s internet connection and printers make them accessible. Onsite printing makes them affordable, as they use little ink and can be printed or copied as needed.  And the design makes them attractive.”

The package was launched at the annual WEPS event, Business Partners for Gender Equality: Multipliers for Development, in support of Principle #3 (Ensure the health and safety of all women and men workers) and the WEPs Corporate Call to Action on Women’s Right to Health.

These publically available educational materials are intended to give multinational brands and buyers and their supply chain companies an easily accessible tool for promoting worker and women’s health.

Business for Social Responsibility’s HERproject helped test the materials with workers in Bangladesh and Kenya, and Translators without Borders provided comprehension testing as well. The content was adapted from international and local health organizations.

The target audiences are workers with low or moderate literacy levels.  The materials are being made available in English, Bengali, and Swahili (Kenya), but they are expected to be offered in several more languages through partner organizations.

The Evidence Project in partnership with Bayer will also be making these materials mobile-friendly for smart phones, as nurses and health care workers in poorer countries are increasingly accessing information through their mobile phones.

Learn more on our blog: Increasing Access to Health Information at the Workplace: One Step to Delivering on SDG #3 in Global Supply Chains.

 

About the Evidence Project

The Evidence Project seeks to expand access to high quality family planning/reproductive health services worldwide through implementation science, including the strategic generation, translation, and use of new and existing evidence. The project is led by the Population Council in partnership with the INDEPTH Network, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, PATH, the Population Reference Bureau, and Meridian Group International, Inc.  RAISE Health is a major activity of the Evidence Project, implemented by its sub-awardee, Meridian Group International, Inc. a small, women-owned business.

About Bayer

Bayer is an innovation company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the fields of health care and agriculture. We are committed to operating sustainably and to addressing our social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen, while at the same time respecting the interests of all our stakeholders.

For more information, please contact:

Mariam Khan
Communications Manager
Population Council
Email: makhan@popcouncil.org
Phone: 212-339-0597

 

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