Last night, Procter & Gamble and global feminine care leader, Always, announced a new commitment to address the challenges girls and young women are facing due to the effects of the Syrian refugee crisis. In partnership with UNESCO and Save the Children, they will help rebuild the confidence of girls in Jordan through education and skill development. Today’s commitment furthers the Always brand’s mission of championing girls’ confidence and a world free from gender bias.
Marking the launch of this new commitment during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, P&G and Always brought together international experts and leading figures to discuss solutions to securing the future of young women through education and skill development within the context of the current refugee crisis. Participants included; Carolyn Tastad, Gender Equality Executive Sponsor and Group President of North America for P&G; Gülser Corat, Director of the Division for Gender Equality for UNESCO; Lliam Findlay, Policy and Advocacy Adviser to the CEO of Save the Children and Maurice Levy, CEO of the Publicis Groupe.
A large number of Syrian refugees, especially girls, are no longer attending school. Adolescent girls entering puberty or going through their early teenage years are particularly at risk. Their bodies are changing and the support they might usually receive from their families may no longer be available, resulting in a loss of confidence and them being left out of school and education. Additionally, many young women affected by the refugee crisis are unable to work and provide income for their families, lacking access to training and facing gender-based barriers that keep them at home. P&G and Always are working to stop this, rooted in the belief that education is key to empowering girls and young women so they are confident, skilled, strong and equipped to take charge of their future even in the most challenging circumstances. It’s well-documented that when girls and women thrive, families are healthier and communities are stronger.
This new commitment in Jordan builds on the Always’ 30-year heritage of providing puberty and confidence education to more than 17 million girls around the world every year, and furthers P&G’s focus on and commitment to gender equality. It extends our existing partnership with UNESCO which has provided much-needed support to girls in Senegal and Nigeria to help them stay in school. This new initiative with UNESCO focuses on reaching young Syrian and Jordanian women, who have encountered significant challenges with continuing and completing basic education or pursuing training opportunities. The programme provides these young, at-risk women with life-skills and work readiness training, whilst encouraging shared experiences and an open dialogue between Syrians and Jordanians. It is designed to help the young women develop business and vocational skills to realise their potential.
Always are also supporting a second programme with Save the Children; which expands our collective work, focused on helping thousands of adolescent South African and Nigerian girls stay in school. This programme provides homebound girls with life skills and educates their parents on the importance of supporting their daughters through puberty. The programme also involves local community support through formal and non-formal education, either in local schools or home-school efforts.
Removing social and family barriers is important to ensuring girls have the confidence to grow and thrive. That’s why these efforts include training and education of parents and community members on topics including girls’ right to education, the role of women in society, and the importance of gender equality. The programmes aim to reach around 1000 girls and young women. Carolyn Tastad, Gender Equality Executive Sponsor and Group President of North America, P&G, said: “At P&G, we believe girls and women are a force for positive change in the world. Growing their knowledge and skills builds confidence and unleashes their full potential and power. Our commitment today as P&G and through our Always brand contributes to our aspiration to build a better world for all of us — a world free of gender bias.”
Those who want to support this commitment can donate to UNESCO and Save the Children funds, which will allow them to reach more girls and women with life-changing support. Be part of this positive force for change, and support activities by donating to their respective funds at http://www.unesco.org/donate/syria2014.html and www.savethechildren.org/girls.