The committees for Ramu Agri Industries and Markham Farms were established respectively in February and May of 2020.
This committee was formed to show RAIL’s commitment to the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Certification and the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) under Rainforest Alliance in its operations.
One of the RSPO requirements stipulates that a gender committee is in place specifically to raise awareness, identify and address issues of concern, as well as opportunities and improvement for women.
“The gender committee has executive committee members and cell groups that hold meetings and bring to the table their concerns and look at different mitigation strategies,” said RAIL community relations manager, Dianne Mirio.
“Facilitated by the community engagement manager, and supported by RAIL management, the committee has led the first Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls walk in November 2020, and also conducted capacity building programs for women – both employees and spouses.
“Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, most of our programs for 2020 were not implemented, however a few had been completed, including financial literacy and leadership training, sewing classes, various craft projects such as flower pot holders, food carrier, hats and caps and crocheting. They also learn cooking and baking skills,” she added.
She went on to say that the gender committee members have a major project to achieve in 2021, and that is the purchase and donation of a generator to the Gusap Government Health Centre at a cost of K75,000.
“Each cell group has met and has scheduled their fundraising activities for this cause, taking into consideration the current pandemic restrictions too. The committee has over 100 registered members, and each management executive has been nominated to coordinate their cell group programs.”