September 13: As part of its global activism campaign, Be Seen Be Heard, the Body Shop has partnered on an Activism Campaign with the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT). With 64% of the Pakistani population being under 30, the youth’s input, perspectives and representation in matters that directly affect them needs to be valued. Therefore, in order to empower and involve youth in policy making, political parties should give their tickets and support to young candidates to contest in the elections of the country.
In a meeting held at PILDAT’s Head Office in Lahore, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT welcomed Mr. Saad Ullah Khan, Country Manager of the Body Shop Pakistan, Ms. Naba Taqvi, Head of Brand & Communication and Mr. Bilal Gilani, Training Manager, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the Pakistani leg of the Be Seen Be Heard Campaign. Together, the two parties will cooperate in carrying out a campaign to help bring about heightened public awareness of the issues surrounding the participation of youth in the electoral processes in Pakistan and to raise voice for their inclusion.
The Body Shop is a global brand of ethically sourced and naturally inspired skin and hair care products operating in over 66 countries with over 2000 retail outlets. The Body Shop Pakistan is managed by Cosmetics Trading Company Pvt. Ltd. and has been open since 2006, operating 34 retail outlets in 12 cities along with its own fully functional ecommerce website. Young people have the right to be included in political decisions that affect them, however, numerous barriers prevent their participation. The Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and The Body Shop are collaborating to change this through the global Be Seen Be Heard campaign to amplify youth voices in public life.
PILDAT, which has consistently invested in building youth’s leadership potential and understanding of the democratic process through its past youth projects, strongly believes that in order to strengthen Pakistan’s electoral process and to make it more inclusive, it is imperative that serious and urgent efforts be made to increase youth tickets in National Assembly for legislative policy making role in Pakistan.
Over the course of the next 3 years, the two organisations (PILDAT & The Body Shop) are planning a series of activities that will include a baseline survey on status of youth participation and inclusion in policy-making spheres of Pakistan, social media campaigns, modular courses and working on ground with local governments to ultimately reduce barriers and enhance youth participation in the electoral processes.