Every woman has the right to exercise her reproductive rights and to be protected from violence and harmful practices in both the development and humanitarian contexts. Pakistan Vision 2025 has embedded five components of women’s empowerment into its objectives, including activities that promote women’s self-worth, right to determine their choices, access to opportunities and resources, right and power to control their lives – both within and outside the home – and ability to influence social change. However, these still remain outside of the grasp of women in Pakistan.

Gaps in empowerment are seen at the earliest stages of a girl’s life. At every step, girls, adolescents and women face challenges and obstacles in making their own choices and determining their own path in the lives they wish to live.

Ujala works at every level of society to empower women, including the most marginalized and vulnerable women and girls, to help them to make informed decisions and choices over the important aspects of their lives, especially around their reproductive rights. This means working with youth and communities to empower girls to understand their rights, work with policy-makers on creating and implementing policies that respond and protect the needs and rights of girls and women.

Within development settings in Pakistan, we aim to strengthen the capacity of the public sector and civil society to advance gender equality and prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Ujala emphasis on coordination mechanisms that helps to track and monitor laws and policies on women’s rights, prevent and respond to gender-based violence and promote gender equality within development contexts.