Nestlé Pakistan in partnership with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), launched the Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program, to provide livelihood opportunities to BISP beneficiaries. The program has actively engaged more than 1350 women as Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Agents. It focuses on empowering and providing livelihood opportunities to the marginalized rural women of Pakistan. Also, as part of this program, we have partnered with Akhuwat, world’s largest interest-free microfinance organization, improving access to finance we have disbursed micro-loans worth PKR 2 million to these women.
There is no ‘magic bullet’ to women empowerment, however this program has shown that economic empowerment may lead to wider social and political empowerment. Traditionally, women of rural Pakistan have been unable to participate in any structured economic activity. This intervention has helped these “poorest of the poor” women (who are BISP beneficiaries) get into the business of retail hence paving the way for economic empowerment. Furthermore, this project is allowing for greater “financial inclusion”, by improving financial access for these “poorest of the poor” women. Furthermore, we are empowering rural women through improving nutrition knowledge and practices. This is part of Nestlé Pakistan’s Healthy Women Program targeting rural women. By successfully running nutrition seminars to these beneficiaries, the program has successfully taught these women the basics of nutrition in an easy-to-understand manner. With the help of visual aids, this program has reached out to more than 1700 BISP beneficiaries during these nutrition sessions.
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