During 2014, ActionAid in collaboration with its local partners and above all the indigenous communities took various initiatives to ensure economic empowerment of local women in 10 of its Local Rights Programme (LRP) areas including Shahdadkot, Nushki, Khuzdar, Pind Dadan (PD) Khan, Khushab, Bhakkar, Layyah, Mansehra, Muzaffarabad and Bagh.
Through concerted efforts, ActionAid continued to capacitate women through various trainings aimed at enhancing their leadership skills. Reflect centres provide a platform to diversify and extend the outreach of our training programmes. Reflect plays a pivotal role in HRBA therefore ActionAid utilized these spaces for multiple purposes including capacity building of women on effective campaigning & advocacy.
“I am thankful to ActionAid for providing me vocational training. I come to this centre regularly. Now I earn Rs.3000 per month on average. It helps me support my children’s education. Besides me, 92 women have received vocational training which proved essential in creating an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment”, says 25 years old Wazeera from Nushki, Balochistan.
ActionAid Pakistan strengthened already established women led cooperatives around livestock and vocational services. Under this initiative, goats, seeds, training and vocational material were provided to the cooperatives. In collaboration with the government livestock department, women members of the livestock cooperatives were capacitated on livestock vaccination and management. In Punjab, AAPk provided goats to vulnerable women and formed livestock collectives.
“ActionAid provided us essential training on livestock and also a small grant to buy livestock. I purchased a good breed goat as it promised re-productivity twice a year. So far, I have sold 6 lambs which earned me a reasonable income to be spent on my education. It was because of ActionAid supported initiative that I was able to take my own decisions. I am the first ever woman in my community who is seeking higher education”, says 16 years old Rukayya Fatima from Bhakkar.
Women were also provided cash and technical support to start their small businesses around vegetables, small household level poultry farms, grocery shops and beauty parlours etc. AAPk also facilitated landless women to acquire land on lease for joint organic agriculture farming where demonstration plots of onion and garlic were established for poor women.
“We use vegetables for our own consumption or sell the surplus in the market. The initiative has provided food security to my family. Our family income has more than doubled. Now I do not feel dependent on my husband for livelihood. Moreover besides me, 50 other women of my area gained ownership of kitchen gardening plots, says Rukhsana from Mardan, KPK.
As a result of such initiatives, women are enjoying a better quality of life through sustainable livelihood which is owned and managed by them. Furthermore, they have better access to market with the purpose of getting more beneﬁts such as low cost raw material and inputs for the cooperatives. Male members of community groups were also mobilized to support women cooperative members in building linkages with the market.