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Pakistan’s news channels taken over by schoolgirls

EBM and BBDO worked together to create a campaign and highlight the importance of education for girls. On World Human Rights Day, young schoolgirls who could not read just three years ago took over leading Pakistani news channels to broadcast the news to 220 million people. In a country where a large number of parents opt to not send their daughters to school, the newscaster schoolgirls emphasised that education is transformative to a nation, while convincing parents to educate girls in their families.

Women in Pakistan are overwhelmingly deprived of their basic right to education. The Global Gender Gap Report ranked the country 145 rank out of 156. UN Women has stated that 53.6 per cent of women had limited access to education, training and employment in Pakistan. These facts are generally ignored – parents often keep girls out of school due to socioeconomic or conservative cultural reasons. There is also a widely held misguided belief that education would be useless for women.

The newscaster schoolgirls turned this around by proving how education had transformed them and shared details of how the country’s literacy rate had gone up by four points in the last three years. It stands at 62.3 per cent and needs to improve further. The girls shared their literacy journeys and how it had enabled them to read the news to hundreds of millions of people in impeccable Urdu and English. They also highlighted the role of education in making them better caretakers of future generations. Educating girls leads to fewer early marriages, better health for women and a higher national GDP.

Dr Zeelaf Munir, managing director and CEO of EBM, talked about the importance of education in building a better Pakistan: “Over the years, we have devoted ourselves to the advancement of educational standards, lifelong nourishment, enabling livelihoods and nourishing the environment. EBM believes its efforts will create new avenues of social development. We have collaborated with the PAF and RMWO in their welfare project to provide better access to quality education for the youth of the country. These are some minor steps in a long and uphill journey of improving the overall education infrastructure in Pakistan.”

The FMCG company of Pakistan collaborated with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Rashid Memorial Welfare Organisation project (RMWO) to set up two campuses in the welfare project – Alamabad near Swabi and Rashda Khawar Butt Academy. The two campuses will cater to students from pre-primary to secondary levels.

In addition, EBM supports GCT’s network of schools in the rural areas of Karachi and interior Sindh at over 150 remote locations with approximately 29,000 students. They have contributed towards the adoption of TCF schools as well as the TCF Agahi – Adult Literacy Program in a bid to impart basic literacy and numeracy skills to the family members of TCF students, particularly mothers. EBM believes that these efforts will add to the much-needed educational advancement in Pakistan, particularly in the underdeveloped regions.

The campaign was put together by Impact BBDO Dubai in collaboration with BBDO Pakistan, Syntax Communications and Msix & Partners.