"Benetton India’s commitment to celebrate equality and love"
by Suman Gupta
Mumbai February 10, 2017: Reaffirming its commitment to address gender inequalities and women empowerment, United Colors of Benetton launched its new campaign- #UnitedByHalf in Mumbai today with Kalki Koechelin. Benetton introduced #UnitedByHalfwith an inspiring and engaging talk held in Mumbai, led by the talented actor and a strong believer of women empowermentheld Kalki Koechelin who was joined by women personalities Gul Panag and Meghana Bhat along with Purab Kohli and Sundeep Chugh. Promoting gender equality and women's safety as the priority for India, Benetton is executing key elements of its global sustainability roadmap, the Women Empowerment Program, a long-term Benetton Group sustainability program aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide.
#UnitedByHalf is a comprehensive campaign launched on Valentines Day to start a movement of men acknowledging and celebrating women as equal partners. The objective of this campaign is to highlight the need for genuine equality for women with their partners that do not restrict them through taboos defined by society. #UnitedByHalf aims to reach out to women and men from modern families to stand up against stereotypes and take a pledge to claim and give their beloved their deserving share in a relationship.
Speaking about the campaign, Mr Sundeep Chugh, CEO Benetton India Pvt. Ltd, said: “Women’s safety and gender equality are issues very close to our hearts and we promote them through the Benetton Women Empowerment Program, a long-term initiative to support women's rights worldwide. We believe women in India are still struggling to claim their equal rights. In the plan of happiness for a successful relationship, man and woman play equally powerful and important roles. The #UnitedByHalf campaign is our way of changing the mind set of society and celebrate women as equal partners, and actively stand for her right to an equal life. Women from all classes and societies would be able to relate to it as this is about inspiring women to question the limits they have been conditioned into accepting and challenge status quo. It is time to unite with love and equality!”
Speaking on the day of the launch, Kalki Koechelin, says, “Violence and discrimination against women is an evil present in our society. We as a society need to understand the significance of empowering women and providing them with rights to education, safety and equality. Benetton’s #UnitedByHalf campaign echoes my sentiments towards the matter that I have always been very strongly standing up for. I am delighted to be associated with this initiative by the brand and feel that it is about time we as a nation stand up against shameless inequality and demand our most deserving share of equal half!”
As an initiative to empower young girls through quality education so that they grow into independent and self-reliant young women, Benetton has associated with Project NANHI KALI, an initiative that supports the education of underprivileged girls. It currently supports the education of over 115,000 underprivileged girl children across India. It is jointly managed by the renowned K.C. Mahindra Education Trust and Naandi Foundation. As a part of this program, Benetton shall render academic support in the form of before or after school classes where trained tutors will facilitate concept based learning through a specially developed pedagogy; material support- where each girl child will receive a kit comprising of a school bag, shoes, socks, stationery, undergarments, hygiene material and other essentials that help a girl go to school with dignity.; and social support where the team will work closely with the families of the girls and the community at large to sensitize them towards girl child education. The association supports Benetton India’s CSR initiative of Women’s Empowerment (WE Program) in the country and addresses the key priorities of the WE Program.
The #UnitedByHalf campaign echoes Benetton’s commitment to India as a strategically important market. With the successful initiative of #UnitedbyDonts last year, that aimed to break stereotypes regarding women’s safety and well-being in India; Benetton has been constantly taking initiatives to work towards the five key priorities for gender equality: Sustainable livelihood, Non-discrimination and equal opportunities, Quality education, Access to healthcare and Combating violence, and them.