UGANDA – In marking International Women’s Day, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) has inaugurated a nursing area for mothers to continue breastfeeding even as they continue with their economic roles.

Whereas breast milk is the most natural and nutritious form of food for babies, providing them with essential minerals, with the growing number of women in employment, nursing is becoming more challenging given the work schedules that normally involve eight hours away from home.

The new nursing area is an effort of the beverage company to enable nursing mothers to have a place to express and store their babies’ milk , as well as providing a more pressureless environment to balance work and  family responsibilities.

“The new nursing area is a welcome addition to ensure that employees can balance their work and family responsibilities. Working mothers face a challenge when it comes to breastfeeding due to the long hours away from their babies,” said Catherine Gita, the Director for People and Culture at CCBU.

At CCBU, we believe in doing business the right way by following our values and working toward solutions that benefit us all. Profitability is important, but not at any cost. When we grow our business the right way, not just the easy way, we help create inclusive growth opportunities for our communities, women and youth, customers, employees, and shareholders, for a better-shared future.”

The former Member of Parliament and an advocate for women’s rights International Women’s Day, Dr. Miria Matembe, who graced the occasion, applauded the company for taking such a great stride in supporting mothers in the workplace and urged other companies to emulate CCBU.

“What a wonderful and thoughtful move that will undoubtedly make the lives of nursing mothers easier. This initiative is sure to be an incredible asset that will be greatly appreciated by working mothers,” she noted.

Dr. Matembe further encouraged women to use their positions of influence to fight for equity, noting that it’s also important for women to be economically empowered to continuously contribute to the country’s development.

CCBU employees were very happy with the extra support that the company has given to them, which allows a balance between breastfeeding journeys even when they are away from their babies and professional life.

“As a nursing mother, I am happy that I can now express my baby’s milk without worrying about comfort and privacy. I am glad the company has also given me a safer and more hygienic way to store and transport the milk home,” said Miranda Nansubuga, the sales administrator and a new mother at CCBU.

The nursing area is not the only initiative Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) and its units have in play only. CCBA’s general manager of Voltic (GH) Ltd, Flora Jika, said CCBA was committed to playing its part in also promoting the advancement of women in the sciences.

“Because women are integral to our continent’s shared success, we seek to empower women and girls throughout our markets on the continent,” Jika said.

“We aim to create greater shared opportunity for the business and the communities we serve across the value chain. Opportunity is more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and their communities everywhere on the African continent.”

In Ghana, CCBA subsidiary Voltic (GH) Limited has partnered with the Girls Excellence Movement (GEM) to increase the impact on the lives of women and children in the communities where it operates.

GEM is a team of dynamic Ghanaian, Nigerian, Tanzanian, American, and British young professional volunteers who devote their skills, time, and other resources to delivering carefully curated capacity-building programs for girls.

GEM’s vision is to inspire, educate, mentor, and inform girls to help them become change leaders. It develops girls into excellent, independent, confident, well-informed, and fearless women who are able and willing to take on leadership in all spheres of life, particularly careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Voltic has also partnered with the non-profit organization Girls in Science and Technology (GIST).GIST’s mission aligns with Voltic’s passion for women and youth empowerment, providing them with the mentorship and coaching they need for a successful and impactful STEM career, and exposing them to opportunities in the STEM industry.

Voltic supports GIST with internship opportunities for female STEM students who fit into the company’s operations. Voltic also partners with GIST to organize empowerment campaign programs for girls in secondary and tertiary institutions in Ghana.

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