Promoting Political participation of women through engaging female leaders and Male supporters of Women’s rights
Shirakat promotes gender equality through equal participation of women in social, political and economic activities. Partnering with TDEA, Shirakat implemented project activities for promoting electoral participation of people with disability and women in Pakistan. Targeted women were included in the larger group of female leaders who were provided technical support through mentoring program. Male supporters on the other hand, were also provided with training and counselling on gender equality, masculinity and leadership. The project focused awareness raising on protecting and promoting women rights through orientation sessions and seminar.
1. Orientation Sessions to Create Awareness on Significance of Women Casting their Votes
In a democratic polity, the quality of life a segment of a population is dependent on the ability of its members to exercise their right to vote. There are more than 11 million less women voters as compared to male voters. Similarly, women voter turn-out is less than male voters. It is obvious that if women want to exercise their fundamental rights like access to education, access to better healthcare facilities, in short, access to all their basic rights and freedoms, they need to have their voices heard.
It is in this context that Shirakat organised 4 sessions involving 100 women to highlight the significance of women to cast their votes in general election in local communities of ICT (Bari Imam, Baharahkahu, Rawal Town and G-6). Furthermore, 200 leaflets and 200 posters on voting rights of women will be distributed to create awareness on the right to vote of women.
2. Seminar on Protecting and Promoting Rights of Women
Shirakat- Partnership for Development has initiated a project on inclusion of women in electoral process with support of TDEA. The project was one of the components of the national level project on inclusion of women and persons with disability in electoral process. The project activities were focused on observation of electoral process, advocacy and creating awareness. for advocacy and engaging stakeholders Shirakat and other CIP partners organized series of consultation meetings and developed a charter of demand regarding political and electoral rights of women, trans gender and PWDs.
A seminar with political parties and stakeholders was organized keeping in mind that when the country goes into electioneering mode and candidates are vying for public offices, it is an opportune time to seek specific commitments from political parties and their candidates on protection of the rights of women. A charter of demand which was articulated in consultation meetings with women was presented to the political parties. 82 participants from CSOs, networks, government departments and parliamentarians attended the seminar.
Currently Shirakat-Partnership for Development with MenEngage Alliance is working on a project on “Engaging men and boys to accelerate efforts to end gender-based violence in Pakistan".
Shirakat has committed to working in two villages of Islamabad (ICT) to model a community mobilization approach (with a mix of Gender Transformative Approach and SASA!) and achieve zero violence in the communities or turn the villages violence free. For the purpose of selection of suitable villages, the team carried out a desk review of ICT villages.
5 villages were shortlisted and two villages were identified for project implementation in ICT.
Through visits in the communities around 14 male and female local opinion leaders have been s have been engaged with. Through visits in the community, information on basic demographics was gathered and insights into the lives of the locals were received.