Canada’s support to advance the political participation of women in Pakistan


The Government of Canada selected the following projects as a result of a call for proposals that ended on March 29, 2018. Canada’s announcement of $21 million in funding to trusted development partners will help promote the civil and political rights of women in Pakistan.

Shirkat Gah: $3.3 million over three years

This initiative will increase political empowerment and appreciation of rights by women in Pakistan, particularly women who are young, marginalized and at risk, by empowering women to articulate their concerns, exercise political choice and hold decision-makers and policy-makers to account.

South Asia Partnership-Pakistan: $5 million over four years

This funding will enhance inclusive democratic processes and participation for the advancement of women’s rights and the rights of at-risk populations, such as minorities and transgender communities. The initiative will aim to change the patterns of women’s political and civic participation through changes in behaviour, practice and performance of key institutions to promote participation of the disenfranchised in community development, local governance and mainstream political decision-making processes.

Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability: $5 million over four years

This project will aim to increase women’s empowerment in civic and political arenas by facilitating the information, tools, material resources, confidence and mobility needed to be agents of decision making and action.

International Foundation for Electoral Systems: $4.7 million over four years

This funding will provide support to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to play a leadership role in women’s electoral empowerment. The project will also equip civil society and aspiring women leaders with the necessary skills to remove barriers to equal electoral participation, strengthen control over the political decision making that has an impact on their livelihoods and improve their well-being and meaningful involvement in civic and political life. The project will provide support to the ECP in addressing barriers to women’s voter registration, with a target of increasing their registration numbers by up to 4 million before the next national election.

CowaterSogema: $3 million over four years

This initiative will aim to increase women’s political empowerment, rights and representation in government laws, policies and programs. This initiative will also enable access to crucial resources and contribute to alleviating poverty. The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women to fulfill its mandate.

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