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Is There Equality in Gaming?

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) are a set of guidelines developed by UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact to help businesses empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. These principles were introduced on International Women’s Day back in 2010, and today, more than 1,600 companies and business leaders around the world are operating under them.

The Pakistani company WeRPlay is now one of those companies. WeRPlay is a game development studio founded in August 2010. They create and design art, digital content, and codes for partners such as Disney Interactive, Pocket Gems, and Mighty Play. From 2014 to 2016, WeRPlay won the P@SHA award for gender diversity and was the runner-up for the same award this year. By signing the WEP, the company has only further propelled themselves towards gender equality and empowerment in the workplace.

“This partnership with UN Women symbolizes our commitment to support the empowerment of women through our overall corporate activities,” said WeRPlay CEO Mohsin Afzal. “At WeRplay, we believe in the creation of an inclusive work environment where men and women can contribute to their full potential. This includes building a fun, autonomous and safe workplace where creativity and participatory working practices are encouraged. Embracing flexibility and building trust among each other is essential to enable employees to combine work and family demands.”

WeRPlay’s staff currently comprised of 37 percent women, 12 percent of whom hold managerial positions. This is monumental, considering that only 0.2 percent of Pakistani women work in information and technology sectors country-wide.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles include establishing high-level corporate leadership for gender equality; treating all women and men fairly at work; ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all men and women workers; promoting education, training, and professional development for women; implementing enterprise development, supply chain, and marketing practices that empower women; promoting equality through community initiatives and advocacy; and measuring and publicly reporting on progress in these ventures to truly achieve gender equality.

“Empowering women within the corporate sector starts by recognizing the different challenges that men and women face in our society, both in terms of household responsibilities and professional development,” said Jamshed Kazi, Pakistan’s representative for UN Women. “For decades, men have had higher access to career opportunities, resources and decision-making as compared to women.”

He then went on to say that only through positive action and conscious efforts can real change commence, and that companies have a key role to play as “change agents” to build a world in which gender equality is a reality and women can confidently assume managerial positions.

The economic participation of women is recognized globally as essential for the progress of a nation and the growth of its economy. By signing the WEP, along with all of the other measures previously taken, WeRPlay is proving to be a leader in gender diversity and women’s empowerment, both in Pakistan and in the world.

Featured Image by Mark Bonica on Flickr

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