Procter & Gamble (P&G) today announced extension of its Gender Equality initiative, under the P&G #WeSeeEqual program, with Health Oriented Preventive Education (HOPE) for women’s skill development and girls’ education. The scope was powered with a funding of US$100,000, reinforcing the Company’s commitment to contribute towards the economic empowerment of women in the country.
The launch of this program with long-term NGO partner HOPE was announced three years ago in 2018, which included establishment of 7 vocational training centers and provision of quality secondary education to women and girls in semi-urban and rural areas. During the last three years, more than 11,600+ against a target of 10,000 were reached. Additionally, P&G partnered with UN Women to provide over 100 women with skill development and financial literacy training, enabling them to set up small-scale business ventures in Sialkot. An evidence-based research study was also conducted, aimed at promoting women entrepreneurship and documentation of gender-responsive procurement practices in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Adil Farhat, Chief Executive Officer P&G Pakistan, said, “We are committed to the cause of gender parity and will continue to broaden economic opportunities for women in a sustainable and transformative manner. We have extended cooperation with long-term partner HOPE to reach out to more women in marginalized communities to ensure that women and girls have equitable access and opportunity. We want to motivate change within them for a promising future.” He further added, “This is fulfilment of our aspiration to build a better world for all of us — inside and outside of P&G. A world free from gender bias, with equal voice and equal representation for all individuals. A world where everyone sees equal. When we do this, economies grow, communities are healthier, businesses can thrive, and the world is a better place for everyone.”
According to the ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2021’ published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pakistan ranks 153rd out of 156 countries on the gender parity index and the overall literacy rate amongst girls in the country is only 47%. P&G’s commitment to Gender Equality is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal # 5 – to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Also present on the occasion, Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla, Chairperson HOPE, was confident for the future. She said, “Strengthening the economic role of women is critical to reducing poverty, improving health and education outcomes for their future generations. This program, in collaboration with P&G, came into being to support this kind of empowerment. With the setup of 6 vocational training centers, many women and girls in areas such as Badin, Sujawal, Thatta, Gadap, Ghagger, Muzaffargarh and soon Muzzaffarabad, learn skills that provide them with a chance to have a brighter future.”
Gender Equality Programs at P&G Pakistan:
P&G is committed to advancing its Gender Equality mission in the country. It is leveraging the strengths of its business operations as well as its scale and advertising voice to address gender bias, enable education for girls and promote women’s economic empowerment.
Gender diversity is an important aspect of P&G’s overall diversity and inclusion mission. The Company aims to attract, recruit and retain the top talent in Pakistan with a special focus on women via a range of strong diversity programs. As a result, today women constitute almost 40% of the employees at the P&G head office in Karachi with 5 top function leaders being women.
P&G is also a member of the US-Pakistan Women’s Council (USPWC) in its mission to promote the economic participation of women in the workforce in Pakistan. As the founding member of the USPWC’s corporate initiative, P&G has played an active role in supporting the Council’s efforts to promote supplier diversity in Pakistan. P&G has provided training sessions for 100 women entrepreneurs in collaboration with USPWC and WECREATE. The sessions aimed at, counselling women entrepreneurs about how to successfully enter the corporate supply chain and creating awareness about the procurement processes at corporate organizations.
Further, P&G has implemented its global ‘Share the Care’ in Pakistan, a new parental leave policy. Under ‘Share the Care’ program, all new fathers are entitled to a minimum of 8 weeks’ fully paid leave. This policy offers a wide range of benefits that can improve development outcomes, including health and economic benefits to the mother, more equitable division of household labor and increased child bonding.
Moreover, continuing its mission to promote the economic participation of women in the workforce in Pakistan, P&G Pakistan recently made a pledge to mentor 500 women under Million Women Mentors (MWM), an initiative of STEMconnector, to spark interest and confidence in women and girls to pursue STEM careers and leadership opportunities through the power of mentoring.
P&G brands are committed to empowering women and young girls with confidence in Pakistan through campaigns such as the Always #MyFutureStartsToday, Ariel #WorkForHome and Pantene #StrongIsBeautiful. Through the P&G Always #MyFutureStartsToday program, 30 girls won educational scholarships and 4 winners spent a day with role models Naseem Hameed and Amna Ilyas. The campaign reached out to around 12 million consumers. Moreover, the Always School Education Program has reached over 9 million Pakistani girls with essential health and hygiene education to date.