PPAF and NCSW Unite for Women's Empowerment in Pakistan

Islamabad (May 15, 2024)

Islamabad, May 15, 2024: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) have entered into a strategic partnership, marking a significant milestone in Pakistan's journey towards gender equality and economic empowerment. This alliance reflects a joint effort to harness the potential of women as catalysts for change. Signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) in Islamabad, CEO PPAF Nadir Gul Barech and NCSW Chairperson Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar were the signatories of this momentous document. The ceremony was attended by Members of the National Assembly, representatives from academia, media, and civil society organizations. Through this partnership, PPAF and NCSW will initiate a series of programs aimed at advancing women's social and economic empowerment safeguarding their constitutional and fundamental human rights. These initiatives include advocacy efforts with the Women's Parliamentary Caucus to promote gender-equal policies, as well as inter-ministerial dialogues to address barriers hindering women's economic participation. Additionally, Both organisations aimed collectively to take forward the initiatives of partner organisation Dukhtaran E Pakistan across the country. It was agreed that collaborative research initiatives with academia and research institutions will explore avenues for women's involvement in poverty reduction, economic growth, digitalization, participatory development, and climate change response. CEO PPAF Nadir Gul Barech highlighted the transformative power of collective action in empowering women and creating a more equitable society. He expressed profound optimism about the partnership's potential to catalyze tangible change, enriching the lives of women across Pakistan and nurturing a future defined by equal opportunities and prospects for exploring their hidden potential. Nadir Gul also shared that since inception, PPAF has established linkages and partnerships with civil society organizations, community-based organizations and engaged with international donors to serve the most marginalized communities in Pakistan. Till date PPAF has formed 94,000 women's community institutions to promote leadership skills in community women, helping them to contribute towards conflict resolution and peacebuilding. To ensure women’s economic empowerment and build sustainable livelihoods, the organization has provided 128,400 productive assets, 125 matching grants to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), 1,738,000 interest-free loans, and vocational/enterprise development training to 222,000 women, he further added. Chairperson Nilofar Bakhtiar praised the collaboration as a landmark in promoting gender equality in Pakistan which is prerequisite for achieving sustainable development goals and creating a tolerant and peaceful society. She emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts to create an enabling environment for women to contribute to an economically stable Pakistan. She expressed the need for private and government institutions to implement the National and provincial policies on Gender Equality for ensuring gender responsive institutions that serve men and women according to their distinct needs. Nilofar Bakhtiar highlighted that this strategic collaboration between PPAF and NCSW underscores Pakistan's commitment to advancing gender parity, empowering women and fostering inclusive growth and development. A society that treats its women as equals encourages lasting peace and prosperity and together NCSW and PPAF will strive for it.