Although legislation has been passed in Pakistan that protects the rights of women to participate in political processes, women's representation in political decision-making remains very low.
How are we helping
Supporting HARD's project to improve the participation of young women in local governance in the Balochistan province.
About the project
Significant legislation has been passed in Pakistan that protects the rights of women to participate in political and electoral processes: 33 per cent of seats are reserved for women in local government and 17 per cent in provincial assemblies, national assemblies and the senate. Despite this progress, there are still 11.7 million more men on the electoral role than women. In 2017, the federal cabinet reformed electoral laws making it mandatory for political parties to allot five percent of their tickets to women candidates to boost women’s representation in political decision-making and law-making.
To support these reforms, Health and Rural Development (HARD) is seeking to improve the participation of women in politics and local governance in the Balochistan province by creating informal district assemblies to discuss the sociocultural, religious and structural impediments to women’s participation in politics in tandem with building the capacity of young women and their groups to engage in participatory governance and civic leadership. The young women are being encouraged to come forward and engage with the wider civic landscape including other civil society organisations and government. To support participation from the general public, a political resource centre for women to access information on civic and political rights, is being established. The resource centre provides guidance on registering for voting and obtaining the national identity card.
At the end of the project, it is expected that there will be increased participation of women in democratic processes at the local level; more women will be able to vote and contest elections; and there will be improved governance through the participation of more women.
HARD Balochistan is a 80% young women led organisation and registered in 1961 and 1860 Act as a non-governmental organisation in Pakistan, which is working on a broad range of issues from health, education, human rights, democratic governance to girls and women rights and advocacy. HARD has experience of working within the province of Balochistan for the empowerment of women and marginalised communities .
The Foundation is the Commonwealth's agency for civil society. We support people’s participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms for civic voices and opportunities for sharing expertise.