Strengthening Electoral & Legislative Process (SELP), of Women NICs and Voter Registration Campaign (WNVRC) – UNDP
Possession of a National Identity Card (NIC) is a pre-requisite for registering as a voter. Almost all women who are not registered as voters do not possess NICs. Any effort to improve women voters’ registration, therefore, cannot be successful without active engagement and support of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), which registers citizens and issues NIC.
The under-registration of women voters is symptomatic of a lack of knowledge and understanding as well as cultural resistance among both male and female citizens about the equal rights and importance of women’s participation in electoral and political processes. While the causes of women’s under-registration remain understudied, the convergence of a host of social and cultural factors contributes to restricting women’s participation in civic, political and electoral processes in at least certain regions. Often, however, women may have limiting beliefs concerning citizenship or lack of awareness about the importance of possessing NICs. According to a study by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, more than one-quarter (27%) of female respondents said they did not need a NIC, a quarter (24%) cited lack of time, and others cited lack of support from relatives (13%), not having the required documents (8%), high cost (5%) and distance (3%). The reasons for women’s under-registration as voters are, therefore, complex, but two reasons in particular (women’s belief that they do not need NICs and that the process is time-consuming) appear to be key challenges.
In order to tackle women’s under-registration, the ECP has made efforts to create a conducive environment for women voters’ registration. The administration has publicly emphasized the need for women voters’ registration and has urged political parties to take up the issue. Moreover, the ECP’s unprecedented Women NIC and Voter Registration Campaign Strategy is evidence of its seriousness to address the issue before the upcoming general elections.
As part of this strategy and in view of the complexity of the issue, the ECP will utilize the ongoing and planned efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs), including TDEA, for women voters’ registration in 79 districts where NADRA has already initiated a campaign to issue NICs to women. The ECP’s strategy aims at developing effective working synergies with NADRA as a prerequisite for reducing the male-female voter deficit.
TDEA awarded the grant to Change Thru Empowerment (CTE) to implement the project in district Zhob and target 37 communities to mobilize and 2,116 unregistered female should be registered with NADRA through NRC/ MRV.
Strengthening District Bar Associations and Setting up Facilitation Kiosks in District Court – GEP/USAID
Quetta is the provincial capital of Baluchistan located in Northern Baluchistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Quetta is a trade and communication center with total population of approximately 1,512,062.
Quetta is ethnically diverse district. The district is multilingual as there are five major ethnic groups and each group has its own cultural values. These include Pashtoons, Balochs, Brahuis, Hazaras and Punjabis. Some other minor ethnic groups like Urdu speaking Mehajirs and Sindh is also reside in the city.
The role of women among the major ethnic groups of district is very limited. Women are bound to live within the traditional, social and cultural values. The Purdah is a general practice of women. Besides that, the number of male children, social and economic status of the husband determines the position of women in the society. The status of women as compared to men is very low. Their social and economic interaction is negligible. Generally, women rights in matters of property and inheritance are not recognized. However, the role of women is changing in Quetta city. The number of women workers in the social sector, NGO and banking sector is increasing significantly.
In Quetta, District Bar Association gaps exist concerning the role of Bar Association particularly with respect to access to justice. In judicial systems, lawyers are the key actors who facilitate the citizens in accessing justice in the court of law. Bar Associations are set up for the betterment, support and professional development of lawyers. In Quetta District Bar Association, total number of registered lawyers is 170, out of which 140 are male and 30 are women lawyers.
Currently there are very limited facilities available to the lawyers as well as the woman litigants in the courtrooms. There are only a few bar rooms and one consultancy room for the provision of free legal aid to the woman litigants.
The cases of domestic violence, gender discrimination, education, killings in the name of honor are still on the rise with no justice being provided to the grieved victims and this is due to the fact that they are unaware of their legal rights. A woman who becomes a victim/ survivor of gender based violence and seeking justice has no information of how to go to court to file her case. She is unaware of the fact that she can find a woman lawyer in the court who can take up her case on voluntary basis if she cannot afford to pay the fee. People aren’t willing to discuss violence as majority of them justify such acts in the name of tradition. In some cases, violence against women in rural areas remains unreported in media due to male dominant society and almost no role is being played by the District Bar Association as it’s influenced by tribal leaders.
The role of the district bar association needs to be enhanced and to do this, proper assistance should be provided to this institute so that its capacity can be built. This will further ensure effective and speedy provision of justice to the women in need of help. Strengthening the role of district bar association is a continuous struggle, especially for the more vulnerable and underprivileged members of Pakistani society.
GEP’s eighth grant cycle is in support of enhancing gender equity by expanding women’s access to justice and women’s human rights across Pakistan. 12 sub-grants are being awarded to Improve Women’s Access to Justice by Capacitating and Strengthening the Role of District
Bar Associations in GEP selected districts. It is envisioned to be accomplished by protecting women’s legal rights, encouraging pro-bono services to women litigants and facilitation of information dissemination hubs for women seeking legal assistance.
Under this theme, 12 district sub-grants envisaged to improve women’s access to justice by capacitating and strengthening the role of District Bar Associations in GEP focus districts. This will be achieved by upholding women’s legal rights, encouraging pro-bono services to women litigants and facilitation of information dissemination hubs for women that seek legal assistance.
Such initiatives would encourage women friendly and women inclusive environment for both women practicing law and women seeking legal assistance.
Under these sub-grants the two main programming areas are:
- Strengthening and Gender Sensitization of District Bar Associations
- Setting up of Facilitation Kiosks in Courts
The 12 district sub grants will be supported by a ‘National Sub Grant’, the purpose of the national coordinator will be to coordinate with the district level engagements, strengthening and gender sensitizing District Bar Councils/Associations in an improved manner. The role of the national coordinator will be to arrange a grants opening, coordination and closing meetings for the regional partners. Develop orientation/training manuals encompassing the required themes, pre-test the training material, prepare training plans for the partners, conduct Training of Trainers, arrange regional seminars on the identified themes, develop and maintain an extensive database of the district-level data being consolidated (legal Expert listing, pro-women legislation information, trainees) and consolidate program Documentation (MoUs etc.)It is envisaged to equip the DBAs with the knowledge on:
- Gender Concepts, Sensitivity and Legal Approaches to Equality
- Pro Women, Family and Minority laws
- International Legal Instruments and Obligations related to Women Rights
The district sub grants are expected to encourage women lawyers to not only represent their profession but also to provide free of cost services to women litigants. The sub grants will provide a platform to women and men lawyers to share and disseminate information with not only litigants but also others seeking assistance on GBV and related issues.
The facilitation kiosks established in courts will positively contribute to a change in the mind sets of the people and will encourage women in seeking justice: by giving them an opportunity to manage the information desks and in linking women litigants with women lawyers.
Supporting Electoral Reform Project (SERP) – TDEA/USAID
A nationwide campaign on the need for wide-ranging electoral reforms is critical to support advocacy that is currently being undertaken by national and international organizations interested in improving the electoral system in Pakistan. In this regard, public engagements with relevant stakeholders at the local level will help magnify citizens’ voices and also remind political parties of the public demand for electoral reforms.
To strengthen citizens’ voice through, among others, focused engagements with political parties, media, professional associations and election management body for electoral reforms, as recommended by national and international election observation groups after the General Election 2013.
To strengthen citizen oversight of the electoral processes including but not limited to up-gradation of electoral rolls, delimitation of electoral constituencies for greater transparency and accountability.
Statement of Work
The project consists of four main components; all four will be implemented by the grantee organizations. These components are: 1) Mobilization of Project Resources, 2) Identification and Training of Activists and Youth Volunteers 3) Assessment and Data Collection 4) Advocacy on Identified Issues.
In order to implement core project activities, the project will engage a cohort of activists and youth volunteers. Prior to beginning core project activities, the project staff, district level reforms group and youth volunteers will be trained on how to implement the project. Project staff will be trained in the programmatic, operational and financial aspects of project management and implementation, whereas the reforms group and youth volunteers will be trained separately on how to carry out specific a project activities’. Each component and its respective activities are detailed below.
Initiative for Mainstreaming Youth in Development & Accountability – TDEA/USAID
The project focused youth for the first time in Balochistan with an integrated and big-push approach. Keeping in view three important roles of youth in society i.e. beneficiary, actor & partner and leader, the project attempted to bring back the deprived, marginalized and depressed youth of Balochistan on track to move ahead in the society with there said roles. The project undertook in Quetta, killa Saifullah, Pishin and Loralai districts.
The project interventions are trifurcated into three pillars;
Pillar-1: Youth Institutionalization & Capacity Building;
Youth organized in four Youth Groups each of 30 male & female youth including minorities. These Youth Groups formed District Youth Assemblies and District Youth Assemblies jointly formed Provincial Youth Assembly. These institutions were capacitated and engaged in actions for development and accountability. Following were the planned activities:
1.1 Identification of Potential Youth for Group Formation:
1.2 Four youth groups each consisting 25-30 youngsters will found on following themes:
i. Social & Economic Development (Education, Health, WatSan, Sports, Culture etc.)
ii. Democratic & Accountable Governance
iii. Cultural Heritage Revival
iv. Environment & Risk Mitigation
1.3 Orientation Meetings with Youth Groups at District Level
1.4 Meetings of Youth Groups for Formation of District Youth Assemblies
1.5 Meeting of District Youth Assemblies for Formation of Provincial Youth Assembly
1.6 Training Need Assessment Youth Groups, Development & Printing of Training Modules
1.7 Capacity Building of Youth Groups
Pillar-2: Facilitation in Youth Policy Formation & Support Mechanisms for Youth
2.1 Coordination with Youth Affairs Department for Balochistan Youth Policy
2.2 District Consultations on Balochistan Youth Policy
2.3 Signature Campaign & Demand Mobilization for Balochistan Youth Policy
2.4 Provincial Consultation and Finalization of Draft Youth Policy
2.5 Follow-up Meetings with Youth Affairs Department
2.6 Establishment of Youth Resource Centers at District Levels
2.7 Development, Printing & Dissemination of Newsletters,
2.8 Training of District Level Organizations on Mainstreaming Youth in Development Programs
2.9 Linkage Building Meetings of District & Provincial Youth Assemblies with Youth Parliament-UNDP Initiative
Pillar-3: Youth Engagement, Partnership and Actions
3.1 Meetings of Youth Groups around issues
3.2 One the youth are organized in youth groups, their monthly meetings will start. Initially, Youth Officers will facilitate them in meetings but after the training group members will take lead in meetings. The meetings, inter alia, were discussions around two dimensions:
i. Formation of youth committees, status and level of engagement of youth groups with other youth;
ii. Plan of action and identification of issues under their respective themes for further discussion in district youth assemblies.
3.3 Meetings of District Youth Assemblies
3.4 Meetings of Provincial Youth Assembly
3.5 Interactions of Youth Groups with Education, Health, Environment & Sports departments.
3.6 District Sports & Cultural Festivals
3.7 Youth in Development & Accountability Talks on Radio in Urdu & Local Languages.
3.8 Youth Assembly and Parliamentarians Dialogue on Youth Development
3.9 Career Counseling Session in Colleges and Universities at district level
3.10 Youth Conference on International Youth Day
3.11 Coordination Mechanisms of Youth Groups, Youth Assemblies & Youth Resource Center.
Community Livelihood Schools Program (Technical & Vocational Trainings) – CERD
The Community Livelihood Schools Program is focusing on economic development and poverty reduction theme of CTE. Under the program various projects and interventions are being undertaken in order to enable the individuals to create employment opportunities through various technical and vocational skills imparted by CTE as per the accredited courses of authorized government bodies.
In Balochistan CTE is running four Community Vocational Centers two each in District Loralai and District Zhob for males & females offering course in following trades:
- Basic Computer (Males)
- Refrigeration (Males)
- Basic Plumbing (Males)
- Air Condition Repairing (Males)
- Electrician (Males)
- Tailoring & Embroidery (Female)
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CTE is focusing districts Kohat, Lakki Marwat & Karak with the above courses.
CTE’s vocational centers are registered with Trade Testing Board in Balochistan and Skill Development Council in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Development & Capacity Building of Entrepreneurs
CTE has also vast experience of working with the entrepreneurs. Under its Community livelihood, CTE has established more than 50 entrepreneur groups and built their capacity. Many of these groups are actively working for their better livelihood and economic empowerment.
CTE’s interventions for entrepreneur development are summarized below:
- Formation of Entrepreneurs:
- Session with local groups for mapping existing potentials/skill that can be transformed into an entrepreneur or improve the entrepreneur
- Mapping of potential in existing skills & products based on market demands
- Mobilization sessions with groups & individuals for establishment & development of entrepreneur.
- Mapping sessions for identification of endangered skills
- Awareness Raising & Capacity Building:
- Introductory sessions on entrepreneurship
- TNAs of groups & individual entrepreneurs
- Management training for entrepreneurs
- Product Development Trainings for entrepreneurs
- Revival of endangered skills but having potential of marketability in improved form
- Networking & Linkage Building:
- Linkage building with artisans & designers
- Linkage building with Demand-end/Market
- Linkage building with micro financing institutions
- Exposure & participation in exhibitions
Supporting Women To Join Law Enforcement & Judicial Systems (SWJLEJS) – GEP/USAID
Promoting Citizens’ Active Participation in Electoral System (PCAPES) – TDEA/USAID
The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees and provides a mechanism for free and fair elections, and requires that all eligible voters should be able to vote, without any fear or discrimination, for the candidates or parties of their choice. However, the previous experience of elections in Pakistan shows that voters’ turn out is often low due to a variety of reasons including, among others, discrimination against certain segments of society like women and disabled, fear of election-related violence, allegations of rigging and violations of electoral code of conduct that cause distrust in the whole electoral process, inability of political parties to educate and mobilize voters, and weaknesses in the election administration in terms of voters’ registration and other arrangements in a manner convenient to voters. Over the last few years, significant steps have been taken to improve the quality of voters’ lists, strengthening the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and providing a mechanism for an agreed caretaker government in order to minimize the possibility of any official interference in favor of one or the other party. This project targets Tehsil Lachi of District Kohat. Following interventions are being undertaking in the project:
Campaign to Increase Voters’ Turnout:
Efforts were made to increase voters’ turn out, especially in Union Councils where the turnout has traditionally been low. The related activities will include:
• 5000 households approached through ‘door to door visits’ after carefully identifying segments of populations, who have a weak track record of voting;
• 10 Corner meetings;
• Dissemination of Information, Education and Communications (IEC) materials;
• Use of social media, especially in urban areas, with focus on potential voters;
• 20 stalls, for at least 50 days, for awareness and motivation of potential voters at appropriate places e.g. colleges, shopping areas, bus stands, fairs, madrassas, religious congregations, and cultural events.
Advocacy against Discrimination or Barriers to Voting:
• Collection of relevant information in a timely manner;
• At least 20 meetings with relevant local authorities to discuss the issues and demand corrective measures;
• At least 300 letters/ applications to local and higher authorities in order to document the problems and demand corrective measures;
• Facilitate related communities in directly engaging the relevant authorities and submitting their demands;
• and 5 public events like seminars or press conferences.
Engaging Young Voters for Peaceful Elections:
The organization identified, enrolled and trained at least 50 young leaders, who could work with young voters and sensitize or motivate them for their peaceful participation in the voting process.
Advocating for Specific Commitments by Candidates and/ or Political Parties:
The organization made efforts to seek specific and public commitments from the candidates about the following:
• Increase of education budget to at least 4 percent of GDP.
• Implementation of policies, which subsidize and support small farmers, and ensure low input prices and reasonable out prices for agricultural sector.
• Enactment of right to free and compulsory education acts in the respective provinces, as per the letter and spirit of Article 25-A of the Constitution.
• Reduction of indirect taxation, which affects the poor more, to less than 55 percent of total tax revenues.
• Strengthening of tax collection system, especially in terms of collecting direct taxes in a fair, non-discriminatory and professional manner.
• Enactment of strong right to information legislation at the Federal and provincial levels, which is consistent with the letter and spirit of Article 19-A of the Constitution and international/ regional best practices.
• Enactment of strong anti-corruption legislation and its effective implementation at the Federal and provincial levels.
To obtain the above commitments, the organization undertook following activities:
• At least 100 letters to candidates or the respective Party leaders in the district as well at the provincial and national levels;
• 1 candidate forum in which all the contestants in a constituency were invited, and asked to sign commitment forms and make their commitments publicaly.
• Encourage journalists and voters to seek similar commitments from the candidates or respective party leaders.
The organization implemented the following activities after the election in order to create awareness about the Election Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanisms, as well as to advocate for appropriate reforms.
Supporting Women To Join Law Enforcement & Judicial Systems (SWJLEJS) – GEP/USAID
Under Gender Equity Program of Aurat Foundation funded by the USAID, SWJLEJS was one year project. The objective of the sub grant (project) is “Enhancing gender equity by expanding women’s access to justice and women’s human rights”. Key focus/interventions under the project are:
- 32 Women law graduates (through placement in law firms for a period of 10 months)
- 150 Practicing Lawyers from Law Firms (through training workshops)
- 100 Lawyers through provincial & national level forums
- Formation and activation of Legal Support Groups (LSGs) at Quetta and Sibi
- Institutional Strengthening of Shaheed Banazir Bhutto Women Crisis Center & Darul Amaan Quetta through capacity building of 15 Staff members
- Development of National Legal Literacy Curriculum
- Printing & Dissemination of IEC Material including Quarterly Newsletters, Posters, Brochures
The project was successfully implemented. CTE is still working and supporting the women lawyers engaged in the said project through establishing the first lawyers’ organization in Baluchistan i.e. Women Lawyers’ Association (WLA).
Policy Consultations on Free, Fair & Peaceful Elections – SDPD/UNDP
This project was brought into being by UNDP to provide technical support to the Parliament of Pakistan. Getting regular updates and technical assistance is something all good organizations, including parliaments, have to do. Realizing this, the Pakistani Parliament asked the United Nations Development Programme and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to provide the technical support. As a result, Parliamentarians orientation and staff training have become some of the vital services that Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development, or SDPD, is providing.
The project has six components:
- Improving the organizational structures of the Secretariats of both Houses.
- Strengthening legislative functions of Parliament through enhanced lawmaking skills, improved procedures and adequate staff support.
- Strengthening procedures to promote more effective oversight and legislative scrutiny by the Senate and the National Assembly.
- Improving parliamentary information services for the Senate and the National Assembly, the media and the public.
- Improving the participation of women Members in all activities of both Houses, i.e., both the quality and the frequency of their participation.
- Strengthening mechanisms for regular and productive interaction between civil society and the Parliament.
CTE is currently acting as implementing partner with the program for the Balochistan and successfully completed the series of policy consultations on:
- Free, Fair & Peaceful Election 2013 (6 Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
- Implementation of 18th Constitutional Amendment (Quetta-Balochistan)
- Public Spending on Education (Quetta-Balochistan);
- Disaster Preparedness & Response (14 Districts of Balochistan).
Process for consultation on Disaster Risk and Preparedness has been completed by CTE as Provincial Partner in 14 districts of Baluchistan under SDPD.
Engendering Democratic Governance in South Asia (EDGSA) Project – UNDEF
EDGSA project is financed by UNDEF and implemented by SAP-International through its regional SAP network in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. SAP-PK is the national implementing partner and CTE is hosting the provincial component/focal point of Balochistan. Under the project, so far following activities have been conducted in Balochistan:
- Study on Practices of Democratic Institutions i.e. Local Governments, Political Parties;
- Meetings of Local Democracy Watch Group (LDWG);
- 2-Days Training of youth and community organizations on Engendering Democratic Governance.
- 16 Radio Debates (30 minutes each) in Urdu, Balochi, Pashto and Brahvi Languages on Women in Politics and Engendering Governance.
Relief & Development of Flood Affected Communities (R&DFAC) – SAP/HBF/TDH
In order to respond to the flood 2010, CTE initiated with the financial support of TDH, the R&DFAC component under SDGP in district Jaffarabad. Under the project, following components are being covered.
- Supply of food/ration to 100 families;
- Construction 120 permanent shelters of Model Village;
- Free Medical Camps;
- Doorstep Medication and Vaccination of Livestock
- Distribution of Tools for construction of houses;
- De-watering, Debris Removal and Level of Land and paths;
- Distribution of Winter Packs (Blankets, shawls, socks etc.);
- Rehabilitation of Water Sources;
- Repair/renovation of community facilities i.e. schools;
- Construction of Rural Health Center in Model Village;
- Economic Recovery through Cash for Work;
- Distribution of 100 Hygiene Kits (PAO-BK/UNICEF supported)
Strengthening Democratic Governance in Pakistan (SDGP) Program – SAP/SDC/CIDA/TDH
The Strengthening Democratic Governance in Pakistan (SDGP) program was a six-year intervention of SAP-Pakistan (2006-2010) aimed at increasing the participation of rural poor in local governance. This will create spaces for them to significantly contribute towards decision-making and policies formulated for their development and well being at the local level. The rural poor – as repeatedly referred to stands for subsistence farmers, peasants, rural workers, and minorities. However in all these categories women is given priority. The program is being implemented in 40 districts and 400 union councils of Pakistan (ten districts from each province and ten union councils from each district).
District Jaffarabad (Balochistan) component of SDGP (Oct 2010 to April 2011) was contracted out to CTE.
Key activities include:
- Mobilization and sensitization of peasants and workers in Jaffarabad;
- Networking of PWGs in Jaffarabad;
- Advocacy and lobbying around the PWs rights/Flood victims
Enhanced Protection of Refugees & Host Communities particularly Women & Girls through Capacity Building of Police Officials & Levis – UN WOMEN
The project is being executed by Shirakat, Islamabad and CTE is implementing Balochistan Component. The project is being funded by UN Women. The project will undertake following activities:
- TNA of Police Officials and Levis;
- Module Development;
- Training of Trainers;
- Training of Police Officials and Levis.