Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in Practice



By Sumaya Nair

In celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, NRS International commemorates International Women’s Day (IWD). NRS International is committed to women’s empowerment and gender equality through our work towards the UN Global Compact’s Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and our recent participation at the Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD).

International Women’s Day

IWD has been observed since the early 1990s and is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. The theme for 2016 is ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’. It focuses on catalysing the UN Sustainable Development 2030 agenda by committing towards Goal 5: Gender Equality. Not one entity, company, charity, or government is solely responsible for IWD, and NRS International marked the year through staff training and celebrations.

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Women’s Empowerment Principles one year later

The UN Global Compact’s WEPs comprise of seven principles that guide the private sector to effectively empower women in the workforce, community and marketplace. WEPs were designed by the UN Global Compact and UN Women and subtitled Equality Means Business and highlight the importance of corporate action towards the promotion of gender equality.

Our Managing Director, Mr. Farhaj Sarwar, publicly committed to the WEPs one year ago, and we co-chair the WEPs agenda in the UN Compact’s UAE Network. We demonstrate our commitment through reviewing our day-to-day practices and policy in accordance with empowering, advancing and investing in women worldwide, starting with our own employees and throughout the supply chain.

“We wanted to do more in our community and we started with a female unit in our factory, and now look to support public health and education initiatives that have an underlying focus on women’s empowerment,’’ stated Mr. Sarwar. “We recognize that more can be done and we remain committed in 2016.’’

NRS International at the Global Women’s Forum Dubai

The GWFD was a two-day event focusing on women’s sustainable role in the contemporary world. It showcased the abilities of Middle Eastern women on a global platform, and broke away from preconceptions tied to the Gulf and Arab women. Policy makers and thought leaders built networks, shared experiences and ideas on how to enhance female engagement, focusing on the theme of innovation.

“It was an honor to present alongside Her Excellency Martine Pinville, French Minister of State for Commerce on behalf of the UN Global Compact UAE Network. It demonstrates how the UAE is setting forward leaning policies and opportunities for women and the WEPs provides a great platform to integrate the moral authority of the UN with the innovation of the private sector’,” stated Ms. Nicole Malick, CSR Manager for NRS International and the UN Global Compact UAE’s co-chair for WEPs.

About NRS International

NRS International is a family-run company that designs, develops and manufactories products to the humanitarian aid, public health and development sectors. Responding to the growing demands of vulnerable populations, we aim to improve the everyday lives of people in need through providing cost-effective aid essentials.

About the Author

Sumaya Nair is a CSR intern working with NRS International. She enjoys poetry, politics and football. She is currently a first year university student, studying International Politics at the Middlesex University Dubai. Attending the GWFD was pivotal for her, as it added to her comprehension of how the private sector can aid the empowerment of women today. It also provided a forum for her to interact with government officials, change makers and role models in the MENA region.

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