Pakistani Company's Day Care Center Enables Mothers to Work

Empowers Working Moms
Saima Shabbir holds her baby at the day care facility.
USAID
Efficiency rises absent worry over child care
“Due to this facility, our job is no longer difficult and we are no longer worried about our children.”

Oct. 2014—When Saima Shabbir joined the Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) in 2013, she knew she would have to contend with a difficult work environment. Pakistan’s power sector is heavily male-dominated—women hardly make up 1 percent of the work force in the country’s power distribution companies.

As a new mother of two young children, she also worried about the absence of any child care facilities. Determined to work, Shabbir was surprised and happy to learn about the establishment of a USAID-funded day care center. It meant she could continue working at the power company.

Previously, the absence of a child care facility at MEPCO forced working mothers like Shabbir to make a difficult choice: leave their children unattended at home or quit their jobs. This situation led to poor concentration at work and higher leave ratios among female employees, negatively affecting their productivity and resulting in compromised services for MEPCO’s consumers.

In January 2013, the USAID Power Distribution Program established a children’s day care facility at MEPCO. The company, in turn, assigned two full-time attendants and a part-time nurse who ministered to the children’s needs. The facility currently caters to 20 children.

“The day care center has solved many of our problems. Due to this facility, our job is no longer difficult and we are no longer worried about our children,” said Shabbir.

The reliable and close proximity of the child care facility provides comfort and peace of mind to MEPCO’s working mothers, which improves their day-to-day performance. The center has helped curb absenteeism among female workers by 36 percent and reduced late arrivals by 82 percent. The new facility has been a win-win—it not only increased the efficiency of MEPCO’s working mothers, but the power company’s as well.

The five-year USAID Power Distribution Program works jointly with government-owned power distribution companies in Pakistan to improve their revenues and customer services, reduce losses, and bring them to the level of well-run utilities in other progressive countries. Through this program, the U.S. Government provides assistance to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to reform the power sector to end the current energy shortfall.

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Last updated: October 14, 2014

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