Four Kenyan companies feted for helping women adapt to health needs during Covid-19
Four Kenyan companies have been feted for making strides towards accelerating diversity in the workplace and communities alongside promoting women health and well-being information and services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Twinings, a marketer of tea and other beverages, including coffee, hot chocolate and malt drinks was distinguished for its role in building the capacity of local health providers as well as the supporting health staff at their tea estates.
In a report released on Tuesday by the United Nations General Assembly, Del Monte, a local food production and distribution company was also recognized for seeing the need for menstrual hygiene products at work and in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, the company is said to have seen women leaders at tea plucking sites carry pads for any woman who needs them at work.
“Del Monte distributed 5,200 packages of sanitary pads to 900 teenage girls to help curb the high rate of menstruation-related absenteeism at local schools,” the report read in sections.
The company was further feted for promoting health and empowerment information services, such as contraception, maternal health, menstrual health, reproductive cancer screening, skill building and anti-harassment programs.
In November last year, the fruit processing company launched a health empowerment program which targets to reach out to 10,000 women in the next four years.
The program has been anchored on reproductive health targeting three areas among them cancer screening, family planning, menstrual health and by extension gender-based violence.
The company's managing director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas said they have partnered with the United Nation Foundation's women health empowerment initiative to propel their program.
He said the outreach program shall entail sensitization campaigns and training of locals on reproductive health.
"We shall be using fliers and pamphlets to disseminate the necessary information and expand the services on-site clinics to offer new services" he said.
Another company that was featured in the report is Mt. Kenya West Women in Coffee (WESTWIC), a women-led membership organization of coffee estates and cooperatives in Kenya which was acclaimed for outlining plans to reach hundreds of thousands of women workers with health and well-being information and services.
KTDA Foundation, the not-for-profit subsidiary of the Kenya Tea Development Agency also got in the list of the best companies locally that exhibited concern for promotion of women health during the pandemic, a move that the United Nations termed as part of a growing movement in the private sector to connect the dots between women’s shift into the global workforce, their unmet need for essential health and empowerment information and services, and the business potential of a healthy and productive workforce.
The report was released in the wake of statistics proving that women in developing countries are entering the workforce at unprecedented rates but too often, their needs – from basic health care, to protection from harassment and violence, to economic empowerment – are neglected.
The United Nations in the report pointed out that investing in women’s health and well-being in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but is also the smart thing to do.
“A healthier workforce reduces absenteeism and turnover while increasing productivity, helping companies reap the benefits of financial returns and social impact,” the assembly stated in the report.