Empowering Girls through Education

Various efforts are in place by business organizations and NGOs to promote literacy and disseminate knowledge across the country.

January 2023

Although Pakistan has fared well in the last decade when it comes to providing primary and secondary level education to girls, around 22.5 million children in the country are still out of school – the majority of which are school-aged girls. As per Human Rights Watch statistics, about 32% of primary school-aged girls are deprived of schooling compared to 21% boys of the same age bracket. The lack of schools in the vicinity of their homes is the main impediment to the pursuit of education for girls living in rural areas.

Recently, a group of young schoolgirls took over leading Pakistani news channels to share the news that the literacy rate in Pakistan now stands at 62.3%. Although unexpected, the sudden appearance of schoolgirls on news channels was an unprecedented move to direct the nation’s attention towards the poor rate of female literacy in the country, particularly the rural areas.

The girls highlighted the many new schools that have opened in areas with a low level of literacy, pointing out that the distribution of funds for setting up schools for girls, in particular, is now leading to a considerable increase in the overall literacy rate in the country. Making the most of the news bulletin, the young newsreaders also highlighted the role of private-sector business organizations and corporate firms in the education sector, especially the initiatives taken by the English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt.) Ltd. (EBM) - one of the leading FMCG companies in Pakistan.

EBM as a company is committed to the social development of the country - from the advancement of educational standards, lifelong nourishment, enabling livelihoods to nourishing and protecting the environment. The company believes in collaborating with other organizations to provide children with better access to quality education as well as to improve the overall education infrastructure in Pakistan. On this journey, EBM set up two school campuses named after Rashda Khawar Butt in Alamabad, Swabi in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Rashid Memorial Welfare Organization project (RMWO). These two campuses cater to students from pre-primary to secondary levels.

In addition to that, EBM supports GCT’s network of schools both in Karachi and rural Sindh at 150+ remote locations with approximately 29,000 students. They have also contributed towards the adoption of The Citizen Foundation (TCF) schools and the Adult Literacy Programme, referred to as TCF Agahi, which aims to impart basic literacy and numeracy skills to family members of TCF students, particularly mothers.