Retail in Asia

In People

H&M chairman receives UN award for gender equality

H&M Chairman Stefan Persson, received the “Humanitarian of the Year” award from the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY) for his leadership role in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women the workplace.

UNA-NY cited H&M for employing more than 116,000 people, of whom 77 percent are women.

“H&M also helps to create more than a million jobs for women in the textile industry in Asia, where its sustainability work is dedicated to long-term development,” the citation said.

Moreover, it said the non-profit H&M Conscious Foundation, with support from the Persson family, works with the humanitarian organization CARE in some of the world’s poorest communities, while also supporting the work of UNICEF and WaterAid.

“By investing in women’s economic empowerment we can help transform the lives of individuals and families, we can fight poverty and bring positive development for entire communities. This work will not only help women here and now, but aims for lasting and positive change,” Persson was quoted as saying in the UN news release.

“Empowering Women, Promoting Peace and Progress” is the theme of this years’ award, which was presented in New York on Wednesday at the annual ceremony celebrating the founding of the United Nations.

Other awardees include Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; and Lord Raj Loomba, CBE, founder of the Loomba Foundation.

Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka who was honored as a strong champion of women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at global, regional and local levels.

The UN said with the creation of UN Women in 2010, UN Member States took a historic step in accelerating the goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Lord Raj Loomba, on the other hand, received the Lifetime Achieve¬ment Award in recognition of his pioneering work of raising awareness for the plight of poor widows and educating their children.