Many experts today say that gender equality is the key to development, especially in countries where it is needed the most. The United Nations have state empowering women is number 3 on their list of 8 Millennial Development Goals.
The World Bank believes that “putting resources into poor women’s hands while promoting gender equality in the household and in society results in large development payoffs”.
So it’s no surprise that many large corporations are getting on board the great fight to equalize the global economy for everyday men and women.
One the most recognizable brands in the world across all ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds is Coca-Cola. They are doing a massive push toward female empowerment in a number of different ways. A campaign that has been launched recently in the Philippines is called 5by20 and it aims to empower 5 million women micro-entrepreneurs by the year 2020.
“From fruit farmers to artisans to vendors, women around the world are already pillars of our business. We at the Coca-Cola Company are building on that foundation by implementing programs to help women entrepreneurs.
Through 5by20, we are addressing the most common barriers to success women face. We do this by giving them access to business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors,” says the website.
By enabling small female business owners in impoverished areas to see themselves as important parts of a large corporate business worldwide, it gives them a sense of importance and equality in their own communities. They also give them greater options in life other than the tradition roles of housewife and motherhood which is very common in a lot of poverty-stricken countries where altering gender roles is not an option.
“When a woman owns a business, no matter how small, it’s not only her and her family who benefits, but also the whole community.”
For Coca-Cola, female empowerment is an established part of their Foundation. Since 2007 they have developed four key areas they cover which are water stewardship, fitness, nutrition, and women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship.
They give grants to various organizations such as schools and non-profits all which have a common theme of expanding girls and women’s opportunities for pursuing education and attaining fulfilling careers.
“We know that empowering women to be entrepreneurs and leaders yields dividends of community growth, prosperity and sustainability,” said the foundation in a Dec. 18, 2014, media release.
Many of the countries they give grants to are in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The Foundation also gives certain grants to US-based schools and organizations, such as Girls, Inc., who have a decidedly global focus of empowerment.
This is not just a one-time thing for Coca-Cola, it is something they are dedicated to and we and many others are happy to see that. For all the bad that exists in the world today, a campaign like 5by20 reminds us what happens when good intentions, fueled by positivity, enable women to live in a world where they can envision a future.
Check out the campaign video below and head over to their website for more in-depth profiles of the women: