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June 19, 2019

IFC, PBC to work on family-friendly practices


June 19, 2019

LAHORE: International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group will work with the business advocacy group Pakistan Business Council (PBC) to promote better career opportunities for working parents and adoption of family-friendly practices, such as childcare benefits.

Pakistan-based multinational companies and 14 Pakistani companies agreed to support parents in finding balance between work and family responsibilities and implement family-friendly policies, a statement said.

The policies would include paternity leave, breastfeeding support, and employer-supported childcare under the initiative, “Tackling Childcare Pakistan: Creating Family-Friendly Workplaces”.

According to the IFC, lack of access to good-quality, affordable childcare is a key barrier to women joining and remaining in the workforce, while women represent only seven percent of Pakistan’s formal labour force.

The 14 companies participating in the initiative include denim manufacturers Artistic Milliners and Soorty; direct investment firm Dawood Hercules Corporation; food manufacturers English Biscuit Manufacturers and National Foods Limited; agri-solutions, energy, petrochemicals and infrastructure conglomerate Engro Corporation; hosiery manufacturer Interloop Limited; banking and financial institutions HBL, JS Bank, and Standard Chartered; information and communication technology providers PTCL and Telenor Group; technology and industrial manufacturer Siemens; and Serena Hotels.

Under the initiative, IFC, PBC, and six strategic partners, including the World Bank, UNICEF, UN Women Pakistan, National Commission on the Status of Women, and care providers CatCo Kids and Ubuntu Care would provide advice to the companies on childcare and family-friendly solutions as well as conduct a series of events to share knowledge on the topic.

The participating companies would have a chance to attend workshops on topics such as supporting the role of men in care giving and learn from one another. The peer-learning collaboration was the first of its kind in family-friendly workplaces in Pakistan.

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