The prevailing patriarchal culture in Pakistan creates a restrictive and oppressive environment for women who are considered derogatory or inferior compared to their male counterparts. Moreover, it is not considered acceptable for women to have a place outside the home, as a result of which women remain uneducated. Women find themselves unable to raise their voices to protect themselves from physically or emotionally abusive men and unable to fight for their rights. In Islam, women have a high status. Women in the life of the Prophet PBUH were educated, employed and treated with utmost respect. However, in Pakistan, society remains discriminatory against women, who constitute more than fifty percent of the total population. Simply the distorted perception that the daughter has no role in family affairs leads to violence and discrimination against them.
What we do:
The Bunyad Foundation believes that women are integral pillars in determining the future of any nation by the level and quality of investment in the health, education and civic socialization of their children. In a backward country like Pakistan, women live on the margins even after decades of state independence. They remain neglected, subjected to various violations of fundamental rights, abused in gender justice and exploited in economic self-sufficiency. The Bunyad Foundation found that illiteracy, as well as economic dependence of women, are major obstacles to their social empowerment. Bunyad believes that educating women about the rights they are entitled to is extremely crucial.
The Bunyad Foundation advocates for the basic rights of women, especially in the educational and economic sectors. In this regard, the foundation implemented nineteen projects in eighteen districts of Punjab province and reached 212,698 women to raise awareness about women’s rights. These interventions have only been carried out in remote rural areas where women have the least opportunities and where information can be obtained.
Starting in 1996, Bunyad Foundation implemented nineteen projects to empower women in eighteen different districts. Among the nineteen projects, almost half were implemented in two or more districts. The first women empowerment project was implemented in Hafizabad district where a total of 10 projects were implemented only to raise awareness about women’s rights.
Bunyad Foundation has received grants from the International Labor Organization (ILO), UNESCO, UNDP, USAID, DFID/PSDF as well as Cardiff University to implement projects that aim to materialize women’s empowerment in target locations.