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Zain launches new disability inclusion initiative

KUWAIT, July 9, 2019

Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), has announced the launch of its far-sighted disability inclusion initiative – ‘We Able’, which is set to position Zain as being disability inclusive by 2022.

Supporting the programme is Zain’s entry as a signatory into the International Labor Organization (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network Charter, where as a member of the network, Zain is committing to a group wide plan, said a statement from the company.

The group’s emphasis will be the development of an implementation plan that will act as a framework to guide the integration of people with disability into the company and include them in all facets of Zain’s policies and culture, it said.

‘We Able’ is the brainchild of Zain Vice Chairman and Group CEO Bader Al Kharafi, complementing the company’s gender diversity and inclusion programme.

The immediate aim of the disability inclusion initiative is to:
*Increase the number of people who suffer with disabilities within the Zain workforce by 2022;
*Ensure all training programmes are disability inclusive by 2022;
*Guarantee that accessibility across all Zain touchpoints are disability inclusive by 2022;
*Identify innovative and assistive technologies enabling more people with disabilities to join the company and succeed.

Al Kharafi said: “Our company’s influential role in society means we must maintain our pioneering outlook with respect to creating positive change in the workplace and in all other areas of our activities.”

“We are proud to stand as an example for other corporates to follow and the implementation of the We Able initiative reflects our commitment to develop and implement a sustainable disability inclusion programme,” he said.

“We believe it is high time that the contributions that people with disabilities are able to make in our workforces and in society in general be recognised, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to raise awareness in this area through our words and more importantly through our actions,” he added.

Al Kharafi said Zain had decided to position the introduction and development of disability issues within the workplace as a priority task.

"That is part of our diversification and inclusion vision, and we will work with organisations and partners who are experts in this field to further strengthen this new strategy," he stated.

According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (Escwa), the unemployment rate in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region for people with disabilities is as high as 86 per cent for females and 66 per cent for males.

This high unemployment rate indicated to Zain’s management the requirement to establish a clear framework to address the deficiency, while also highlighting the massive opportunity for the company to recruit people with disabilities to be part of Zain’s 6,000 talented workforce, it added.
 
Maryam Saif, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Zain Group, said: “We have reflected on this issue of disability inclusion for some time and concluded that as an organisation we need to further develop and promote this area in the workplace.”

“We are delighted to launch this initiative that builds on our company’s diversity and inclusion achievements and activities,” she added.-TradeArabia News Service




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