Luxury conglomerate Prada Group has teamed up with the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) on a fashion training programme for young women in Ghana and Kenya.
The pilot programme, ‘Fashion Expressions: The Stories She Wears’, looks to leverage the social and economic power of fashion to promote women’s empowerment and sexual health.
As part of the project, 30 women in Ghana and 15 in Kenya will participate and, over the course of six months, will gain knowledge on various aspects of fashion, including design and production, recycled fashion, traditional textile design and financial literacy.
In a release, Prada said the programme will also provide educational sessions in sexual and reproductive health, such as the response to gender-based violence, the prevention of teen pregnancies and menstrual health.
It builds on the UNFPA and Prada Group’s partnership, which was established in 2021, and will see the duo work alongside various local partners, like Ghana’s International Needs and the Kitui County Textile Centre.
The two groups will be further partnering with local fashion brands to facilitate local, long-term employment opportunities for participants.
In the release, Mariarosa Cutillo, chief of strategic partnerships at UNFPA, said: “UNFPA is working with creative industries to find innovative ways to support young women from ‘left behind’ communities to access their rights and choices in order to unlock their full potential.
“Fashion is a powerful platform to provide long-term, sustainable education and development opportunities across the world.
“We are proud to launch our partnership with Prada Group and its people through this impactful programme that focuses on women's economic inclusion, pushes boundaries for sustainable development solutions, and acts as a springboard for further collaboration in the years to come.”