Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Coca-Cola and NIC Pakistan Team Up for Gender Quity on International Women’s Day

Coca-Cola and the National Incubation Center celebrated International Women’s Day 2023 with an event that focused on the day’s global theme: Embracing Equity. The event highlighted the issue of water equity, with a particular emphasis on how it disproportionately affects women and children in Pakistan. The lack of access to clean drinking water in Pakistan affects around 40% of the population, and rural women are particularly affected, having to travel long distances to collect water for their families.

Coca-Cola partnered with Indus Earth Trust and Bondh E Shams to install a solar-powered water filtration system in Ali Muhammad Jokhio village, Thatta, which produces 10,000 liters of clean water every day. Additionally, innovative water wheels were provided to women to help ease the burden of carrying water. At the event, two women from the Ali Muhammad Jhokio village shared their perspectives and first-hand experience of the critical connection between women and access to safe drinking water.

The event featured a keynote by Senator and Minister of State for Petroleum Dr. Musadik Malik, who highlighted the critical connection between women, water, power, and development. A panel discussion on gender and climate action was led by Aisha Sarwari, Director of Public Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company. The discussion highlighted the importance of gender equity and clean water and sanitation in achieving sustainable development goals, of which gender equality (SDG 5) and clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) are among key priorities for Coca-Cola.

“Women in Pakistan have faced systemic disadvantages and we believe in fixing the fundamentals first. Access to clean drinking water is a game changer, especially in times of natural disasters and climate change catastrophes.” said Aisha Sarwari, Director of Public Relations, Communications, and Sustainability.

Coca-Cola is committed to creating equal opportunities for women in their business and the communities they serve. Women bear a disproportionate impact of climate change, as evident from the floods in Pakistan, and they responded to International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Pakistan Business Council’s (PBC) Climate2Equal Call to Action, pledging to increase women’s involvement in consultations on water conservation and make them the main stakeholders in climate-focused interventions.

At the event, startup WeCamp held a panel discussion on “Female Inclusion in the Workforce”. The discussion featured journalist and founder of The MM Edit, Maria Memon, Aqsa Khan, CEO of Milma Trips, and Fozia Asim, home-based entrepreneur behind Saqafat. The panelists shared their experiences and discussed the challenges faced by women in the workplace, as well as best practices for promoting gender equality in the workforce.

Parvez Abbasi, Project Director, NIC Pakistan said; “On this Women’s Day, we applaud the courage and determination of women around the world, as they continue to overcome varied challenges. At the NIC we are immensely proud that 24% of our female founders are female. That’s compared to Silicon Valley where it’s a lot less. Still a long way to go!”

The event highlighted the importance of addressing gender and water equity, especially in regions where access to clean drinking water is scarce. It also emphasized the need to promote gender equality in the workforce, to provide women with equal opportunities, and to empower them to take a leading role in climate-focused interventions. Coca-Cola’s partnership with Indus Earth Trust and Bondh E Shams demonstrates their commitment to creating sustainable solutions for communities in need. Overall, the event was an important step towards promoting gender equity and sustainable development.

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