(Ottawa) – Thanks to a contribution of $8 million from the Government of Canada, women’s rights organizations throughout Pakistan will have increased access to resources and support for their work to advance gender equality and women’s rights.
Over a five-year period, the Oxfam Canada Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Pakistan project will partner with a core group of local women’s rights organizations (WROs) working in diverse regions of the country. Objectives will be to improve the management and sustainability of WROs, to enhance the delivery of gender equality advocacy and programming by WROs, and to increase the effectiveness of women’s rights platforms, networks and alliances to effect gender sensitive policy change and implementation in Pakistan. WROs supported under this project will be diverse, will support strong women’s leadership, and will have a vision, mission and objectives that clearly articulate a women’s empowerment agenda.
“Oxfam Canada is committed to a feminist agenda which includes supporting the work and voices of women’s rights organizations. WROs have deep knowledge of their communities and constituencies and know the best strategies for driving long-lasting and sustainable change. For this reason, they are in the best position to define and deliver ground-breaking programs and advocacy initiatives that address the root causes of gender inequality,” said Julie Delahanty, Oxfam Canada Executive Director.
Key challenges currently facing WROs in Pakistan include: few opportunities for WROs to organize; lack of capacity, resources and autonomy to drive their own change agendas; and lack of platforms for collaboration. WVL-Pakistan places WROs in the driver’s seat to be stronger and better managed, more sustainable, and create platforms and alliances to carry out gender transformative programming, effective advocacy and movement building.
WVL- Pakistan will provide diverse WROs organizational capacity building training and support, core funding, and responsive grants for women’s empowerment programming. As well, the program will actively create spaces for WROs to network and build alliances to advocate for gender equality in Pakistan.
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Notes to Editors:
- In 2018, according to the World Economic Forum, Pakistan ranks 148 out of 149 countries in the gender inequality index.
- According to UN Women/USAID survey, 92 per cent of women stated that they do not go out alone due to fear of violence
- Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world with a negative sex ratio with 100 women to 108.5 men.
- Evidence shows that strong women’s rights and feminist organization and movements are fundamental to catalyzing change towards gender equality.
- Canada announced the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program as part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy in June 2017 to respond to the needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries.