Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a crosscutting issue in all of Shirakat’s programmes and projects. Shirakat is in constant contact with over 320 young girls and boys previously trained on gender equality, child protection, leadership and communication to keep the learning live and to encourage them to integrate learning in their everyday lives.
Similarly, over 200 women trained as leaders and trained 200 men as change makers. These change makers are being involved at every potential opportunity and are taking action for women’s rights in their community and their work spaces.
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".
Collaboration for Change: Transforming lives and minds for equal citizenship
Collaboration for change was a two and a half year project which contributed to the realization of equal citizenship through women’s empowerment and active participation in public life.
The action aimed to develop a model of women’s meaningful participation in public sphere and will help them overcome barriers to promote their participation in public life through leadership training of 200 women. The project engaged male relatives who have supported women leaders in the past but faced resistance from their families or other men. Under the project activity based and participatory training were conducted. These activities covered masculinities, gender and gender inequalities, power, the role of men as partners for socioeconomic development, men’s responsibilities and contributions to the gender equality agenda.
Under the project 320 young girls and boys (including minorities) received leadership training through 8 day summer camps with exciting activities in low cost private schools and public schools. 32 university students volunteered in summer camps organised under the project.
Under this project, 100 potential women leaders are trained through a 5-day leadership training “HUM KAR SAKTAY HEIN”. To ensure that the trained women are supported by their families in taking part in public life and enjoying leadership positions, male relatives of all trained women were trained and engaged in project activities.
Since men in Pakistani society have the power either to maintain existing barriers to women’s leadership and role in public life or to contribute for changing the norms and behaviors in society so that women can realize their potential, become effective leaders in their preferred sectors and feel safe participating in public life.
Shirakat establishes and runs a Web TV – NissaaeeAwaz (Women’s Voice) which will carry,among other programmes, success and motivational stories of: a) women leaders; b) men supporting women; religious leaders’ messages supporting women, summer camp videos and other national and international stories of interest. TV and radio discussions are also in pipeline for this project.