Women Empowerment, PakistanWomen Empowered in Pakistan’s Civil Society
Project areas: Civil society
To improve effective local governance and bridge the divide between the government of Pakistan and its people, Aga Khan Foundation initiated a project called Women Empowered through Citizens’ Community Boards, to help close this divide and increase female participation in Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Our Foundation is working in partnership with the Civil Society Resource Center and with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development to empower female representatives to play a more active role in CSOs and to advocate gender-sensitivity to others.
Working with other local organizations in northern Pakistan, the project conducts training sessions on project management, leadership skills and resource mobilization to council members so they may be more effective at advocating and implementing solutions in their community. Training also relies on management coaching to ensure that learning transfers easily to practical application. Beyond trainings, staff meets regularly with participants to generate awareness on social issues and the role of women in development. Despite of all the barriers that women have in attending the training sessions, the high rate of women’s participation underscores their enthusiasm, willingness and motivation to gain skills and make a difference in their community.
By enhancing women’s advocacy and management skills, the project aims to encourage women to be more active in their CSOs while exposing councilmen to female leadership. To ensure sustainability, all organizations involved in the project take part from planning to training to evaluation. Groups identify their most crucial capacity building needs which become the basis of training. Along with the representatives, the project coaches master trainers, who then train more representatives long after the project ends.
This project works with over 100 civil society organizations across seven districts.