Nokia and the UN helping survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa

Nokia and the UN successfully conclude the first training cycle to enable financial independence for survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa

In commemoration of the 2021 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children, Nokia in partnership with UN Women launched a training program for survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa. The program, which aimed at strengthening the women’s financial independence and employability, kickstarted earlier this year and over a six-week period saw 24 participants from the Young Women for Life Program Mamelodi being trained on business administration, finance, work psychology, business marketing and job preparedness. Young Women for Life is a program supported by UN Women through its implementing partner to empower young women GBV survivors to acquire skills to economically support themselves.

“I am excited that my office, the UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office, is partnering with Nokia on this journey of meaningfully transforming Young Women’s lives to ensure they have skills to sustain their livelihoods.  We look forward to the next cohort of trainees to benefit from these comprehensive skills being done by Nokia” Aleta Miller, UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office Head.

Great commitment and teamwork between the key stakeholders of Nokia and UN Women South Africa enabled the successful execution of a training concept which aims to support the beneficiaries’ skills development, improve their employability and enable them to become entrepreneurs. The training which was funded by Nokia’s ESG team, took place at the Nokia Centurion office in South Africa. It was planned, designed and executed by over 26 global and local Nokia employees with a heart-warming dedication, strongly supported by the regional UN Women team.

The first cycle was finalized in May and was attended by UN Women Multi Country Head Aleta Miller, Nokia’s shareholder representative Ms Mathili Kunene and Nokia’s Country Head Toni Pellegrino. “I must say it was a proud moment for me to observe the work done by the Nokia-UNW Action for Employment initiative. I will not hesitate to again avail myself should my participation be needed. I hope the initiative will grow and assist even more young women to find their feet, regain their confidence and take their rightful place in their families and communities”. Ms Mathili Kunene, Nokia South Africa Shareholder Representative.

The next cycle is planned to commence in August and will include beneficiaries from Gauteng, South Africa.  The program is also being scaled up to include other provinces as well as other African countries.

This program forms part of the global Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia, and Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, which guides the partnership as Nokia seeks to promote inclusion and diversity in society. Nokia has also become a signatory to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of principles offering guidance on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.