PAKISTAN, Lahore, July 19, 2022: P&G Pakistan today signed an MoU with Akhuwat, a not-for-profit organization, to lend interest-free microloans to women entrepreneurs to enable them to create sustainable streams of income. This collaboration is another initiative that reiterates P&G’s commitment to equality & inclusion in the country, under its Citizenship focus of being a Force for Growth and a Force for Good.
This project aims to change the lives of over 500 women as well as create additional employment opportunities for approximately 800 more citizens, during its running.
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 collaborated with Akhuwat to reach out to women in marginalized communities and provide opportunities to instate financial independence amongst women entrepreneurs.”
Women’s financial inclusion continues to progress globally as they move into a growing space as entrepreneurs, startup founders and businesswomen. However, in Pakistan, the role of women is still societal rather than economic. Women are accorded esteem and importance from a social standpoint; but in economic terms, the status of women is amongst the lowest in the world. A report from World Bank suggests that to decrease that very gap, it is important to extend monetary credit opportunities to women to help initiate, grow and prosper their professional endeavors. P&G’s efforts in this area support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals # 1 - to eradicate poverty; and # 5 – gender equality.
Expressing his views, Dr. Amjad Saqib, Founder Akhuwat, said, "Poverty is not just about lack of resources; it’s about deprivation–of a social network, justice and morality. But poverty, in its worst form, is of hopelessness.” The Asian Nobel Prize recipient is adamant on eradicating poverty, especially from marginalized communities. The purpose behind these loans is to facilitate women entrepreneurs to become self-sufficient in order to improve their standards of living as well as uplift the society. He added, “One day a woman, visibly distressed, eyes filled with tears, entered my room. Her story was that of countless others, her audience was unique. Having recently lost her husband, the resource-strapped mother of four was despondent. What she knew with a certainty was that she wanted to give her children the best possible life. What she also knew was that she wanted a life of dignity and grace, without ever begging anyone for charity. When I asked her how he could be of help, she told me that she wanted an interest-free loan from me.”
P&G is committed to advancing its Equality & Inclusion 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.
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