In the small village of Joyan Wala, Sheikhupura, Shareefa Bibi wakes up every morning, opens her small Keryana (grocery) shop for business. Her shop plays an integral role in generating economic prosperity for this village. and sells affordable and nutritious products. “I have been running this shop for 3 years now”, recalls Shareefa. Shareefa’s husband used to be the sole breadwinner of the family however, since his accident three years ago they have had to face serious financial constraints. These circumstances were the reason she started her own microenterprise and now is on the path of economic prosperity. “Nestlé and Akhuwat helped me attain a loan so I could open this shop”, says Shareefa Bibi.
Despite challenging circumstances during COVID-19 pandemic, Shareefa was able to keep her business running. “My business was able to sustain”, tells Shareefa. The entire village neighborhood is relieved since Shareefa Bibi has started this shop as now they are able to shop for basic items in the vicinity of their homes. “Thanks to Nestlé, my livelihood is secure and sustained”, concludes Shareefa Bibi.
Like Shareefa Bibi, the rural women of Pakistan face multiple challenges including living in dire economic circumstance. Given these circumstances, Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program helps provide livelihood opportunities to these women in order to help them sustain themselves as well as their families. Nestlé Pakistan and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) entered into partnership in May 2017, to provide livelihood opportunities to the BISP beneficiaries. This partnership is part of Nestlé Pakistan’s Rural Deep Reach Project, which focuses on the needs of low-income population by offering them Popularly Positioned Products (PPPs).
This program has helped over 1300 BISP Beneficiaries in becoming financially independent and stable. 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.
As part of our commitment to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 5, Gender Equality and No. 8, Decent work and economic Growth, Nestlé Pakistan is committed to empowering and providing livelihood opportunities to the marginalized rural women of Pakistan.
In Commitment with