Democratization, Women & Youth

Democratization, Women & Youth

Political empowerment of women cannot be made possible without changing the patriarchal mindset within political parties, participants at a consultation on “Gender Action Manifesto” highlighted. The consultation was held in Karachi on April 20, 2017as part of a series of such activities being organsied by the Heinrich Boell Stiftung (hbs) at provincial and national level under its “Gender Action Manifesto” project.

Open call for applications: Vasl Artists' Collective in collaboration with Heinrich Boell Stiftung.

Residency dates: Thursday, April 6 - Friday, May 12, 2017

Eligibity Criteria: Artists from Afghanistan and Pakistan


“Women nominated on quotas are usually party-bound and they have to follow party-line first and if they disagree with party, they stay aloof” said an MNA Nafeesa Khattak during the hbs workshop on “Strategizing Women’s Substantive Political Representation”, held in Islamabad on July 13, 2016.


The referendum on UK's membership in the EU marks a unprecedented turning point in the history of the EU. Its effects cannot entirely be foreseen but it shows the current problem areas of the European integration project.

We have to shift the focus from women’s individual agency and capacity towards structural and constitutional constraints, to understand the barriers for women’s substantive representation in political decision making, says Dr. Farzana Bari in her research study “Bridging the Fault Lines? Rethinking the Gender Quota Approach in Pakistan”, launched by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Pakistan on 26th January 2016 in Islamabad.


Women’s participation in political decision-making and their networking beyond borders plays an essential role for peace-building in the region. This is one of the most important lessons learnt from a delegation visit of Afghan and Pakistani women parliamentarians to Berlin and Brussels in early November 2015.

Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) in the Pakistani Parliament, in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Stiftung organized a one day roundtable meeting to initiate a dialogue with political parties on best ways to strengthen capacities of women police in Pakistan. The conference took place in the Parliament House on 27th of November, 2014. The participants of this conference were key stakeholders including women parliamentarians from all parties, MNAs and Senators, representatives from the Interior Ministry, National Police Bureau, IGs, DIGs, and Women police from provincial police and representatives of the civil society.

Ajoka Theatre in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Stiftung performed its new play “Lo Phir Basant Ayee” from 15-16 November 2014 at National Art Gallery Auditorium (PNCA), Islamabad. Main objective of this play was to promote freedom of academic and cultural expression through a creative and entertaining. More than 700-800 People from all walks of life including civil society activists, artists, government officials, students and media watched this play, both days.


Organization of women in parliamentary politics in collaboration with HBS organized a round table consultation on International Human Rights Conventions Ratified by Pakistan on 28th of October, 2014 at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS). Many eminent women including women parliamentary caucus, NCSW, civil society, media, representatives of International organizations and women representatives from different political parties participated in this meeting.

The survey “Pakistan Political Barometer” was conducted by SDPI in collaboration with the financial support of Heinrich Boll Stiftung Pakistan Office and in partnership with well known magazine Herald. The report of this survey was launched on 10th of June, 2014 at SDPI office. Respondents in 32 districts across the country were reached out to get the general perception of common man regarding “one year federal government's performance after completing its first year in power”.

The past fifteen years of quota-induced increase in female representation and participation in Pakistani politics still have not substantially addressed the disconnect between women’s increased presence in legislative bodies and their second-class citizenship status, i.e. gender-based cross-sectoral discrimination and deprivation, as visible in an overall categorisation as low human development, in
particular in gender-specific disaggregation and comparison, leading some to put a question mark on women’s empowerment through gender quotas.


The promotion of democracy is one of the core themes of our work worldwide. We perceive democracy as a socio-political process driven by citizens' active participation and strong democratic institutions. In collaboration with our partners, we are trying to widen the scope for political and social participation and emancipation. Specifically, we aim to strengthen civil society and democratically elected parliaments.

Political and social rights of women and youth are an essential part of the democratization process. Therefore we advocate for the representation of women and youth in political decision making and for an improvement of supportive legislative and political frameworks.

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