Project Background

For many women in the developing countries, rights such as education, employment and social mobility are easily accessible and widely accepted as a part of life. But for many women in Pakistan, especially in the rural areas of the country; many of these basic rights are completely denied due to deeply rooted cultural and institutional constraints. CARE Canada, in collaboration with CARE International in Pakistan are promoting women’s empowerment, and enhancing self- reliance and business skills through the “Community Infrastructure Improvement Project” funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).

This project is a replica of a previously CIDA funded Rural Maintenance Programme (RMP), which is a proven model for poverty alleviation and economic empowerment of rural disadvantaged women. It was successfully implemented for over 20 years in Bangladesh.

This project aims at providing a solid solution to alleviating poverty, empowering disadvantaged rural women and strengthening Local Government Institutions for sustainable development in Pakistan

The project model is based on a two-year rotating cycle that enables women to gain confidence working outside the home, gain an income, acquire necessary life skills, generate start-up capital, and initiate entrepreneurship activities. Ideally, participants will exit from the project self-employed given the skills and training they acquired through the project. Every two years, a new group of women will enter the project cycle. The project will not only benefit the women who participate, but also the Union Councils which are connected via the rural road- ways built by the women participants. Union councils are sub- communities in Pakistan, many of which will benefit from being connected via roadways in order to transport local goods and services.