To commemorate International Day for Rural Women, Nestle Pakistan highlighted its esteemed partnership with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Pakistan’s Unconditional Cash Transfer Program with a database of the poorest women belonging to the unfortunate, marginalized and helpless sections of society. Nestlé Pakistan launched the initiative of Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program in 2017 as part of the Ehsaas Program to provide occupational opportunities to its recipients. BISP provides a quarterly stipend to its beneficiaries of approximately PKR 6000.
Half of Pakistan’s 220 million population resides in rural areas, out of which 65 million are women. These women work in agriculture, livestock management, and fisheries as unpaid helping family members or on extremely low wages, they are hardworking and skillful, working in extreme conditions without getting the remuneration that they deserve. These women do not have access to good education, training, health facilities, technology, and transport in these areas. Focusing on these factors the main purpose of Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program has been to provide these women with support and pave a path for them.
The program understands that the secret to sustainable prosperity for these women is only possible when they are given a fair chance to play the field and reach their maximum potential. Over 1800 BISP beneficiaries have been enrolled in the program as Sales Agents as of now and the program has been launched in 24 districts of Pakistan. Nestlé Pakistan has also partnered with Akhuwat Pakistan (the largest interest-free microfinance program) whereby, improving access to finance, micro-loans worth PKR 3.37 million have been disbursed to these women.
Due to the lack of training and necessary facilities, rural women have had no chances to contribute in the economy of the country but with this program even the poorest of poor woman is given a chance to participate and aspire for financial empowerment for a brighter future. Average earning of each Sales Agent in the program is PKR 5,000 to 10,000 each month.
Nestlé Pakistan truly understands the significant role women play in forming and leading society to its future and that is the inspiration behind providing rural woman a chance to change their and their families’ lives for the better. By empowering women and promoting gender equality in all aspects of life, Nestlé Pakistan is leading by powerful example and changing the course of the future of the country, one empowered woman at a time.