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GENDER EQUALITY AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT

USAID works with the Government of Pakistan and development partners in Improving Women’s Access to Economic Opportunities, Increasing Girls’ Access to Education, Supporting Maternal and Child Health, Combating Gender-based Violence, and Increasing Women’s Political and Civic Participation.

The empowerment of women and girls is critical to building stable, democratic societies; safeguarding human rights; furthering international peace and security; growing vibrant market economies; addressing pressing health and education challenges; and ensuring that development initiatives are effective. USAID is working to narrow the gaps between men and women to promote a more prosperous, stable, and inclusive society in Pakistan.

HIGHLIGHT

Through a grant to a local NGO, USAID supported the Women Parliamentary Caucus of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to pass three landmark resolutions to widen women’s access to market-driven educational opportunities, help more qualified women find gainful employment by increasing the job quota for women from 10 to 15 percent, and mandate that the KP Health Department record maternal mortality so that the province can better address maternal health challenges. Collectively, these provisions will enable women’s efforts to live healthy lives and support their families.

OUR IMPACT

  • Awarded more than 6,000 scholarships for young women to receive higher education in Pakistan since 2010.
  • Provided health services to 9.8 million women and children.
  • Reached more than 578,000 girls through reading programs.
  • Trained more than 12,000 female educators.
  • Trained more than 16,000 female election observers.
  • Directly created more than 9,000 full time jobs for women since 2012.
  • Facilitated national identity card registration for 513,000 women.
  • Provided health, legal, and counseling services to over 59,000 female survivors of gender-based violence.

IMPROVING ACCESS TO ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

USAID is expanding the roles of women in agribusiness. The Agency is supporting women entrepreneurs in targeted product lines (mangoes, citrus, livestock, and high-value vegetables), providing grants directly to female agribusiness entrepreneurs, and incentivizing grantees to employ more female managers and workers. In the Satpara area, USAID is also helping local women farmers prepare to engage at all levels of the agri-business cycle (i.e. production, processing and marketing) through targeted trainings, grants, and equipment which allow them to produce high value products that they can sell at high end markets. USAID is helping rural women earn extra income for their families by training them in livestock management, enabling them to provide extension services to fellow small dairy farmers.

USAID is improving women’s access to economic opportunities by increasing women’s access to technology, markets, and finance. The Agency is strengthening women’s chambers of commerce and business associations and helping to ensure policies--related to business registration and regulation, financing, and entrepreneurship--support businesswomen. USAID has also established a Women Leadership Development Program, which will ensure that women from across the public and private sector participate in critical trade policy discussions.

INCREASING GIRLS’ ACCESS TO EDUCATION

To ensure more girls have the opportunity to pursue education, USAID is training female teachers, which encourages families to send their girls to school. Through the implementation of the United States Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, USAID is working jointly with the Government of Pakistan and other partners to help educate and empower more than 200,000 adolescent girls across Pakistan.

USAID is also supporting the restoration of educational facilities. USAID is rehabilitating girls’ schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and KP that were damaged by conflict and natural disasters. USAID also funded the construction of a 384-bed women’s dormitory at Forman Christian College in Lahore so women from remote areas of the country can attend college.

To support higher education, USAID provides scholarships to deserving young Pakistani students (over 50% of whom are women), through the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program, to attend Pakistani institutions of higher education and to receive a higher education in the United States through the Fulbright Program.

SUPPORTING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH

USAID’s Maternal and Child Health program has been working in Sindh since 2012 to increase the number of trained healthcare providers that can reach marginalized women and children an ensure equitable access to health services. USAID also created community-level forums to promote cohesion, understand grievances, and allow men and women to receive information about health and how to access quality care. Safe spaces promoted open discussion around sensitive topics such as birth spacing, inter-spousal communication, the value of the girl child, and social customs like vanni (exchange bride) and forced marriages. They also provide a platform for women to gain greater control over their fertility.

Launched recently in KP, USAID’s new Integrated Health System Strengthening and Service Delivery Project, is designed to ensure that both men and women are included in the family planning process. The project will also enable women to utilize family planning methods in remote locations where traveling to distant clinics is challenging.

INCREASING  WOMEN’S POLITICAL  AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION

USAID is working with UNDP and stakeholders such as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), civil society organizations, and political parties to increase the inclusion of women in election processes. USAID supports the ECP’s newly established Gender and Disability Electoral Working Group to guarantee that women are represented throughout the entire organization, including in leadership roles. Gender sensitive training is being provided to all staff, and data collected by the ECP are provides information on gender. USAID is also helping women to register to vote, conducting voter and civic education, and training aspiring women candidates.

Last updated: March 26, 2018

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