In a bid to advance women 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 – have partnered with UN Women to promote gender equality and empowerment of women in Tharparkar.

In this connection, EEL has become a signatory to the “Women Empowerment Principles” (WEP) which 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 the [NAME & DESIGNATION] of UN Women’s and senior officials from both sides.

The adoption of the WEP – which is an initiative launched jointly by The UN Women and United Nations Global Compact – calls for broad based interventions for advancing the female 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 realization 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 freedom from violence.

Speaking on the occasion Shamsuddin Ahmad Shaikh said that:

“We have a strong commitment towards gender balancing initiatives with a specific focus on affirmative action which enhances women 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 empowerment and 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, our Marvi Clinics specifically focus on providing maternal and neo-natal healthcare to Thar Females 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.”

Representatives of UN Women Pakistan appreciated the efforts of Engro and said:

“Empowering women from poor and underprivileged areas will bring revolutionary changes in socio-economic fabric of these areas and Engro Energy’s plants and facilities along with communities surrounding it can serve as a launching pad to not only achieve the gender equality and women empowerment objectives of UN women but also pave the way for implementing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

UN women delegation also discussed the best practices being implemented by local and international businesses across the world which help provide agency and financial inclusion to women around the world.