The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works with the Government of Pakistan and development partners to address gender equity and social inclusion, which affects women and marginalized populations of all ethnic groups and socio-economic strata. 


Our programs work to improve women’s access to economic opportunities, increase girls’ access to education, improve maternal and child health, combat gender-based violence, and increase women’s political and civic participation in Pakistan. All of our efforts across sectors incorporate the cross-cutting theme of gender equality. This work helps promote a more prosperous, stable, and inclusive society in Pakistan, which helps further international peace and security and promotes economic empowerment for all. 


Engaging Women in Democratic Governance and Peace 

Women empowerment is a key element of USAID programing, working with women from across socioeconomic, political and cultural lines. USAID is providing training for women leaders and activists to help build their capacities for leadership and management through voter and civic education and sensitization campaigns on gender equality. Facilitated 1.5 million women to get their CNIC to exercise their right to vote. Other initiatives demonstrate how young men and women can advocate for equal rights and opportunities for women through public policymaking. USAID trained 82 parliamentarians for making policy and legislation on countering violent extremism.  Our programs work with 5,225 community influential women to build their capacity and skills needed to amplify their voices around peacebuilding. At the same time, USAID also works with communities, government officials, legislators and politicians to facilitate women’s effective participation in creating social cohesion. Engaged 28,054 female university students and 411 female students from non-mainstream institutes on promoting tolerance and peaceful narratives. Facilitated around 397 female faculty members from universities and 581 female faculty members from non-mainstream institutes with promoting tolerance, acceptance, and social cohesion.

Women and Entrepreneurship

Women’s economic empowerment is central to realizing women’s rights and gender equality. USAID supports women-led business (WLB) participation in the economy by increasing access to capital and digital technology; increasing climate change resilience and adaptation; improving operational performance; and developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem that enables WLBs to start, expand, and innovate their businesses. USAID also addresses enabling environment challenges, such as access to finance, markets and technology, that WLBs face and improves their engagement with public and private sector business forums. USAID has trained and financed more than 50,000 women entrepreneurs across the country and has created 3,892 full-time equivalent jobs for women.

Women in Trade Policy

Enhancing the place of women in trade policy allows them to play a key role in addressing climate change while raising their incomes and driving overall growth. As the green economy develops, shifting growth patterns in non-traditional sectors such as manufacturing, trade, transportation and logistics may further exclude women’s participation if proactive measures are not adopted. In Pakistan, USAID conducts nationwide training sessions for women traders and entrepreneurs on trade policy formulation so they can avail equal access to these opportunities by connecting and integrating into global supply chains. Involving women in trade policy dialogue can help drive the adoption of climate change policies and strengthen mitigation and adaptation efforts by ensuring they benefit the needs of women. The training emphasize the role of women in trade policy formulation and advocacy; and enhance women business owners’ and entrepreneurs’ understanding of trade laws and policies and helps develop a community of practice. USAID has trained more than 2,000 women traders and business owners who have advocated review of trade policy issues from a gender perspective.  


To ensure more girls have the opportunity to pursue education, USAID has partnered with provincial governments in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to promote girls’ access to quality education through public-private partnerships in education. USAID has also trained more than 16,800 female primary and secondary school educators to improve the quality of classroom instruction in classrooms and since 2014, more than half of USAID’s 6,000 university scholarships have been awarded to Pakistani women across the country.


USAID has partnered with the Government of Pakistan to improve maternal and child health. Since 2012, USAID-supported interventions have helped nearly 11 million women and children have received quality maternal, child, and reproductive health care services. USAID is also assisting the government to increase case detection and improve diagnostics around Tuberculosis (TB) and build capacities of health staff to manage TB cases.  USAID’s assistance also strengthens the government's capacity to detect, prevent and manage future infectious disease outbreaks. These interventions target the marginalized and most vulnerable communities in Pakistan, which include women and children. 

Women in Agriculture

USAID trained over 84,179 women in livestock management and horticulture, helped create 10,059 full-time equivalent jobs for women in agriculture and agribusinesses, and supported women in applying new technologies and best management practices in their businesses. As a result, 1,487 micro, small and medium enterprises, including women farmers, received business development services related to agriculture and 47,280  women farmers have applied new technologies and management practices that helped them increase yields and productivity. 

Supporting Women in the Energy Sector

USAID provided scholarship opportunities to Pakistani women undergraduates from STEM fields through two cohorts under ‘Future of Women in Energy (FWE) Scholar Program’.  The FWE Scholars Program seeks to increase women’s participation in Pakistan’s energy sector by promoting education in the energy field and developing women energy leaders. The FWE Scholars Program is jointly funded and managed by the United States Department of Energy, U.S.- Pakistan Women’s Council and USAID.  Through a competitive application process, 19 women undergraduate students in science or engineering participated in a two-week course  at Texas A&M University’s Qatar Campus in Doha, where students learned about the engineering of energy systems, global research methodologies, and global challenges and opportunities, and experienced demonstration in labs of various renewable energy sources . Upon completion of the course, the women scholars returned to Pakistan and visited some private and public sector organizations working in  the energy sector to gain familiarity with the industry opportunities and the possibilities for women’s leadership in the field.  

Transgender Community Support

Pakistan’s 2017 census identified just 10,418 transgender individuals, while human rights advocates say the actual number is more realistically estimated at more than half a million.  The transgender community in Pakistan encounters significant obstacles in political inclusion and political participation. The community is repeatedly subjected to harassment and hate speech, exclusion and discriminatory behaviors leading to extreme marginalization and vulnerability. USAID contributes to support the transgender community through various initiatives. USAID helped to draft a National Strategic Framework for transgender protection and political inclusion through a consultative process with all stakeholders, and 122 transgender participated in the process across the country.


  • Supported the Federal Ministry of Human Rights to train 196 public prosecutors on laws protecting women’s rights, gender issues, and legal protections for GBV survivors. 
  • Facilitated national identity card registration for approximately 1.5 million women to promote women’s voting rights. 
  • Helped train almost 16,000 female political party representatives. 
  • Worked with 5,225 community influential women to increase their role in countering violent extremism in their communities.
  • Trained more than 2,000 women traders, business owners, professionals and academicians to advocate for policy measures and entry points to mainstream gender considerations in trade policy in order to maximize opportunities for women. 
  • Trained over 84,000 women in applying improved agricultural management practices to help them increase yield and productivity while creating more than 10,000 new jobs for women in agriculture and agribusinesses.
  • Provided over 7,300 scholarships for academically-talented, financially-needy female students to attend universities in Pakistan. 
  • Trained more than 16,800 female primary and secondary school educators.
  • Provided health, legal, and counseling services to approximately 61,000 female survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV). 
  • Supported health interventions to nearly 43 million women, children and men that include  quality maternal, child, reproductive health and nutrition services including vaccination to prevent COVID-19. 
  • Trained around 146,000 health care professionals to improve quality of basic health services including diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.


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