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Ensuring Active Participation of Women in Local Government ( Grantee Name : Women Rights Association Pakistan (WRAP) )

Started On 05 May, 2016 Ended On 05 November, 2016

Brief Project Description

The project engaged around three women candidates from each targeted Union Council (UC) of Multan and Muzaffargarh for the Local Bodies Elections. The elections took place in Punjab on September 20, 2015, and as per the Punjab Local Government Act 2013, there were two reserved seats for women in each UC. WRAP selected and identified three women candidates from each of the 128 UCs of Multan district and 93 UCs of Muzaffargarh district. The total number of women candidates engaged in this project was thus 663 (384 from Multan and 279 from Muzaffargarh). These women candidates became the primary target group for capacity building and for carrying out advocacy campaigns and lobbying to cope with the issues of disenfranchisement and marginalisation of womenfolk in the political process. The project focused on the pre-election phase of the local bodies polls. Therefore, WRAP equipped the women candidates with knowledge and expertise to handle the phenomenon of violence against women (VAW), particularly through playing a decisive role in the mitigation of vulnerability of womenfolk, at least within their respective UCs. After their success in the elections, these candidates thus became a valuable source for introducing gender-sensitive municipal service delivery systems within the targeted districts of Multan and Muzaffargarh. WRAP also engaged other stakeholders, i.e. community elders, local officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), local leadership of the top five political parties, journalists, media persons, radio channels, civil society organisations (CSOs), and representatives of AAWAZ forums, in advocacy and lobbying for electoral, administrative, and legislative reforms for the increased participation of women in politics.


  • Equipping around 663 women candidates with advocacy, lobbying, and leadership skills before the Local Bodies Elections in order to enhance women political outreach for the emergence of a gender-sensitive municipal service delivery system
  • Informing, sensitising, and mobilising women candidates and women voters about the importance of their votes, and encouraging their active participation in the local bodies elections.

    Key Findings and Achievements

    To ensure womens active participation in the local government elections, WRAP developed a database of 441 active women candidates from the two districts. This database is free from party-biased information and women from all parties are given equal representation. A training module was designed to build the capacity of women candidates/members on gender-sensitive governance and local service delivery systems. A cadre of fifteen trainers and candidates of the Local Government Elections benefited from the training manual. WRAP facilitated thirteen meetings in both districts with community elders, civil society organisations, district administration, and local political leadership in order to develop a coordination mechanism amongst the community and government officials. In these meetings various well-known figures from CSOs, community-based organisations, media, and bar councils also participated and showed concern regarding a secure and peaceful environment for women during the elections. Muhammed Ather Shah Bukhari (President District Bar Council), Rao Shakil Javed (Reporter Aaj News), Mr. Amjad Bhatti (Reporter Roznama Jaezza Multan), SSP (Operations), SSP (Security), SSP (Traffic), SHOs, and other police officials also attended some sessions. A coordination mechanism was developed and police officials declared publically that they would take special measures to create a safe election environment in both the districts. WRAP held two-day training workshops for females participating in the elections. Seven workshops were conducted in Multan and six in Muzaffargarh, and 464 women were trained during these workshops. After the training, they participated in the elections more enthusiastically. The project included the facilitation of two district level seminars on Cultural, Structural, and Gender Barriers for Representation of Women on General Seats of Elected Bodies. The seminars helped sensitise 268 people from different walks of life on issues of womens participation in elections and barriers to their entry, while also providing a platform to create cohesion among different political parties. Thus, they also brought to light the benefits of working together peacefully. WRAP broadcasted a penal discussion through prominent FM radio channels i.e. FM 101 Multan and Jazba FM 98.6 Muzaffargarh. Multan FM has about 35,000 listeners and the Muzaffargarh FM show has a listenership of about 25,000 people.


    AAWAZ is a DFID-funded, five-year Voice and Accountability programme to strengthen civil Society

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