Improving Livelihood Opportunities for Rural Women of Pakistan

May 24, 2018

Rani Begum, is a Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) beneficiary residing in a village near Sukkur in Sindh. A mother of 7 children, Rani begum was reliant on the money provided by BISP every quarter to meet all her household expenses. Despite living in such conditions, Rani Begum aspired that all her 7 kids (5 daughters and 2 sons) are enrolled in school. Rani begum attended her first Sales Training with Nestlé Pakistan in January 2018. Since then, she is working as a Nestlé Sales Agent in villages around Sukkur. Her earning is now approximately US $130 (PKR 14,000) every quarter.

“Being able to send my kids to school means everything to me in this world. My husband who works on daily wages, made our household income very unpredictable and this made me very concerned. We used to get funds from BISP every month. Then Nestlé came and helped me understand how I can start a small business right from my home and helped me open a small shop. Now, I have a respectable living and wish to further expand this business. By God’s grace, my children are going to school now and I am very happy”, says Rani.

As part of our commitment to attaining the SDGs 1 & 5 (No Poverty and Gender Equality), Nestlé Pakistan & BISP partnership is pioneering with a focus on women’s economic empowerment, connecting women to markets and making sure they have access stop financial markets. Kicked off in May 2017, the aim of this partnership is to help BISP beneficiaries take charge an improve their financial circumstances and transition from being dependent to becoming financially independent. Launched in 2008, BISP is the largest social safety net program launched by the Government of Pakistan and has approximately 5.3 million beneficiaries. The BISP Program is a targeted unconditional cash transfer program in Pakistan focusing on the underprivileged, excluded, marginalized and vulnerable women of Pakistan.

To-date more than 200 beneficiaries have become Nestlé Pakistan Sales Agents from across Pakistan, mainly Punjab and Sindh.

These beneficiaries have undergone a rigorous sales training and are involved in selling Nestlé Pakistan fortified products to the rural population at a low cost.

Nestlé Pakistan has also launched the Healthy Women Program focusing on BISP beneficiaries which imparts relevant nutrition knowledge amongst BISP beneficiaries beyond the Sales training.

Through the use of visual aids and easy-to-understand handbooks, the Nutrition experts inform women on importance of good nutrition, ideas on how to cook healthy nutritious meals within a budget and disseminate key nutrition and hygiene messages to the beneficiaries. This comprehensive program addresses the key issues face by these women including health, hygiene and food safety etc.