L’Oréal Middle East has long been committed to supporting and empowering women across the GCC and their latest partnership embodies this to a T.

The beauty giant has teamed up with the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children in the UAE and Shamsaha in Bahrain in order to help women who are suffering due to the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emirates Woman sat down with Remi Chadapaux, L’Oréal Middle East Managing Director to discuss the story behind the partnership and how they aim to support women in the GCC, empowering them to further greatness.

Remi L’Oréal Middle East

What inspired the launch of the L’Oréal Fund for Women partnerships in this region?

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted women in disproportionate ways in the region and the world, further underscoring the inequalities that exist between both genders and increasing the cases of domestic abuse. Against this backdrop and under the ‘L’Oréal for the Future’ program, L’Oréal’s 2030 sustainable development roadmap, the Group allocated €50m endowment fund to address this urgent issue and to help alleviate the challenges that COVID-19 brought to many women around the world and across the region.

As L’Oréal Middle East has been long committed to empowering in the GCC, we felt the urge to play our part in the region to help mitigate this social crisis and protect the most vulnerable women, victims of abuse and domestic violence. Therefore, we have joined forces with local non-profit organizations, the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children in the UAE and Shamsaha in Bahrain, to make a difference and bring a voice to women who need it the most.

What are the main aims of the fund to help women in this region?

Through our partnership with the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC), we are supporting the organization’s overarching mission in protecting women and providing them with a safe and healthy environment during turbulent times. As such, we launched the “Isolation Building” project, to protect the beneficiaries and faculty to ensure the continuity of DFWAC’s service with high safety measures.

As for our partnership with Shamsaha, we aim to support its mission to break the silence around domestic violence in the region, help women stand up for themselves by providing direct support as well as give them a voice that will help them realize their full potential both socially and economically.

Can you outline key specifics on how you intend to support these women in need?

The L’Oréal Fund For Women’s ambition is to directly support struggling women and help them reintegrate back into society. Therefore, the fund is supporting on-ground organizations and local charities around the world in their efforts to prevent domestic violence against women, support survivors, help women out of poverty and to achieve social and professional integration, overcome obstacles to women and girl’s access to education and to provide emergency assistance to refugee and disabled women.

Why Shamsaha and DFWAC specifically to partner with?  

We are proud of our partnership with Shamsaha and the Dubai Foundation of Women and Children whose mission and values are aligned with our own, which is empowering, protecting and advocating for women’s rights in the region.

Shamsaha stood out as it is the only organization of its kind in the region that provides 24/7 crisis support for victims, making it the ideal partner for L’Oréal Fund for Women, while Dubai Foundation for Women and Children has been at the forefront of providing immediate support and protection to women and children across the UAE.

We will continue to extend our support to more charitable organizations across the region to help with their mission to make a bigger impact.

Sheikha Al Mansouri of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children

How does the collaboration intend to help empower women?

With the support of L’Oréal Fund for Women, Shamsaha, will expand its crisis program’s on-ground and virtual operations to the UAE, KSA, Omar and Kuwait to offer victims medical, food, supplies, transportation as well as therapeutic and legal support. This expansion also includes the development of Shamsaha’s mobile application which will make all the virtual services available for women across the region.

As for our partnership with the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, we are supporting victims of violence and domestic abuse and preserving their well-being by creating a safe and healthy space to protect them and alleviate any potential diseases. This project contributes to the Foundation’s mission to reduce the rates of violence directed at women and children in the UAE.

Do you envisage this being a long-term partnership?

Women empowerment has and will continue to be a cause that we are invested in regionally and globally. These partnerships that we have forged in the GCC reflect our commitment to the cause and as we propel forward, we will continue to collaborate with charitable organizations that share the same aspirations as us.

In the GCC, we have been empowering women through programs like Beauty For a Better Life, where we provide technical and vocational training for underprivileged women to become certified beauty experts and gain access to employment. Also, through our flagship program L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘For Women In Science’, which was launched 23 years ago globally and 7 years ago in the GCC, we empower and celebrate Arab women scientists in the region in partnership with Khalifa University and under the patronage of H.E. Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology.

We also launched this year ‘Abuse Is Not Love’, a program that is dedicated to support and protect women who suffer from intimate partner violence in the UAE.

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Images: Supplied