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GENDER EQUALITY AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT

USAID in Pakistan integrates gender equality and women’s empowerment into all of its programming to increase opportunities for women’s participation in the labor force, expand girls’ access to quality basic education, improve maternal and child health, and promote women’s rights in political, economic, and social realms. To increase female empowerment and participation, we are also implementing specific rights-based interventions to reduce gender-based discrimination and violence. 
 
IMPROVED ACCESS TO ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES
We are working to increase women’s incomes, develop their skills, and provide women with entrepreneurial opportunities, including access to financial resources, while encouraging employers to incorporate women into the work force. The Entrepreneurs Project supports women-owned small businesses and works to improve production and expand their opportunities to link with profitable markets. Seamstresses and women from the dairy, medicinal and aromatic plant industries receive training in financial literacy and enterprise management. USAID’s Dairy Project seeks to enhance income and employment generation for rural women through livestock skills development, which ultimately improves their livelihoods and food security by training women on dairy farm management techniques, establishment of dairy farms, and milk collection. USAID is also working to encourage more women to work in energy distribution and generation companies by making them more family-friendly. The Power Distribution Program has organized daycare facilities, giving mothers the opportunity to work.
 
SUPPORTING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
Our aim is to improve access and quality of healthcare for mothers and children, focusing on safeguarding mother’s and children’s health; supporting family planning and the healthy timing and spacing of births; and strengthening provincial health care systems. The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program seeks to improve the quality and availability of key services related to family planning, reproductive health, and Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MNCH) in Pakistan’s newly decentralized health sector. 
 
INCREASING GIRLS’ ACCESS TO EDUCATION
To ensure more girls have the opportunity to pursue education, the Sindh Basic Education Program and Improving Education Quality Project are working to mobilize communities to increase girls’ enrollment in school and train female teachers, which encourages families to send their girls to school. We are also rehabilitating girls’ schools in FATA and KP that were damaged in conflict and natural disasters. In support of higher education, USAID provides scholarships to females through the Merit and Need Based Scholarship (MNSB) Program and the Fulbright Program. 
 
COMBATTING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Our Gender Equity Program (GEP) seeks to combat gender-based violence (GBV) in Pakistan by providing grants to local civil society organizations.  GEP developed a strategy to combat GBV, which aims to create an environment for rehabilitation and self-fulfillment for survivors. Key in this process are training police and judicial officers to better handle GBV complaints, and strengthening public and private women’s shelters. The program is also working on strengthening sixteen helplines for crisis management, providing legal services, psychological and social counseling, and vocational training to survivors.
 
INCREASING WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION
Through the Gender Equity Program, USAID has provided grants to help women register for Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs), which gives them access to services and allows them to vote. 

Last updated: August 07, 2014

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