Initiative launched to empower Thari women

KARACHI - In a bid to advance women’s empowerment activities and initiatives in Thar, Engro Energy Limited (EEL) along with its subsidiaries Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC); Engro Powergen Thar (Pvt) Limited (EPTL) and Thar Foundation (TF) – the CSR wing of the Companies – signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), with support of UN Women.

By becoming a signatory to the “Women’s Empowerment Principles” (WEPs), Engro Energy Limited pledged to forward the agenda of empowering women through seven key focus areas. The charter of agreement was signed by Shamsuddin Shaikh – Chief Executive Officer of Engro Energy – in presence of Jamshed M. Kazi, Country Representative of UN Women and senior officials from both sides.

The adoption of the WEPs – which is an initiative launched jointly by UN Women and United Nations Global Compact – calls for broad based interventions for advancing the gender equality agenda. These include treating women fairly at work whilst ensuring their health, safety and well-being; promoting equality and female professional development and deploying supply chain and enterprise development opportunities for females, amongst other areas. The collaboration with UN Women is an extension of Engro Energy’s adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whereby the Company has already implemented various programs to promote gender equality in Tharparkar.

In moving towards realisation of gender equality and women’s empowerment, UN Women Pakistan provides support to innovative initiatives that promote women’s human rights, with special focus on their economic security, political participation and elimination of violence.

Speaking on the occasion, Shamsuddin Ahmad Shaikh, Engro Energy, said that: “We have a strong commitment towards gender balancing initiatives with a specific focus on affirmative action which enhances women’s empowerment. As part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s, our CSR-wing, the Thar Foundation, has already instituted various programs aimed at women’s empowerment and their financial inclusion financial inclusion of females. Projects such as Women Dump Truck Driver Program has uniquely trained Thar’s females to drive 60-Ton heavy dump trucks with plans to scale the initiative to increase outreach to potential female drivers. In addition, Marvi Clinics specifically focus on providing maternal and neo-natal healthcare to the women of Thar while Khushaal Naari (native for “Empowered/Progressive Woman”) program focuses on developing enterprise and go-to-market opportunities for females across Thar, thereby working on various thematic areas from the SDGs to develop the new breed of more socio-economically empowered Thari females.”  

Country Representative of UN Women Pakistan, Jamshed M Kazi, said: “Managing diversity can be a strong indicator of future performance and I am delighted to know that Engro Energy Limited is already working hard to ensure women enter the workforce and are exposed to equal opportunities and rights. Some success stories from EEL have surfaced where women are taking up unconventional roles such as drivers, engineers, site supervisors, entrepreneurs from Thar and adjoining areas.

By joining forces, we have the potential to advance gender equality and make a real difference in people’s lives. Investments in gender equality are investments in the future. Half of the world’s talent must have the opportunity to blossom.”

UN Women’s delegation also discussed the best practices being implemented by local and international businesses across the world which help provide agency and financial inclusion of women around the world. To date, 56 Pakistani companies have made a public commitment of support over the last two years by signing onto the Women’s Empowerment Principles.


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