Aimed at advancing women’s rights and promoting social justice in Pakistan, International Rescue Committee, (IRC) and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women (KPCSW) are elated to announce a significant partnership. The IRC and KPCSW signed a Letter of Cooperation (LoC) to collaborate on initiatives of mutual interest across the province. The LoC was signed by Shabnam Baloch, Country Director IRC, and Robin Haider Bokhari, Secretary KPCSW.
This collaboration signifies the shared vision of both organizations to develop synergies aimed at fostering collaboration under the “Leveraging Inclusive and Climate Sensitive WASH for Empowerment” (LIFE Pakistan) project funded by Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The LIFE-II Project focuses on addressing gender equality and social inclusion concerns within climate-resilient WASH interventions. IRC and KPCSW as strategic partners will work collaboratively for a conducive policy arena and implementation. IRC will leverage upon KPCSW expertise on women’s development and gender equality initiatives.
At the policy level, IRC and KPCSW will hold consultative workshops with relevant government departments to foster a common understanding of inclusive WASH and Climate Change action plans. These workshops will pave the way for coordinated efforts to address climate change challenges. Moreover, IRC and KPCSW will hold a series of parliamentary dialogues on gender equity in water and sanitation, within the context of climate change challenges. These dialogues will aim to identify opportunities for gender inclusion in existing implementation plans, including the National Climate Change Gender Action Plan (National CC GAP).
Robin Haider Bokhari, Secretary KPCSW, speaking on this occasion noted that the partnership between KPCSW & IRC will pave way for fostering better representation and inclusion of Women in community interventions that are centric to WASH and climate resilience. She further added that the commission mandate entails reviewing provincial laws affecting women’s status and rights, proposing changes or new legislation to eliminate discrimination and promote gender equality in line with the Constitution of Pakistan and international commitments.
Speaking at the ceremony, Shabnam Baloch Country Director IRC, stated, “Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (GEDI) is the cornerstone of IRC programming in Pakistan. Our vision resonates with the mission of KPCSW.” She further noted that IRC is open to exploring additional areas of cooperation within the Climate-Resilient Inclusive WASH sector and will work closely with KPCSW for provision of technical support to government institutes.
This collaboration underscores the commitment of both IRC and KPCSW to advancing a nexus of gender equality, women’s rights, and climate resilience. It is a significant step towards addressing pressing social issues and it reflects the shared vision of both organizations to create a more inclusive and equitable society.