Though a continuous presence in Pakistan since 1954, The Asia Foundation has developed deep ties and valuable expertise on local, regional, and international issues. With a staff that is almost entirely Pakistani, and an extensive network of local and regional partners in both government and civil society, the Foundation's projects reach throughout the country, and range from large, nationwide programs to very small, local initiatives. Read country overview.
CRITICAL ISSUE: EXCLUSION OF WOMEN FROM POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC LIFE
Pakistan faces serious governance, security, social, and economic challenges, and our efforts bridge the gap between citizens and government, foster human rights and social inclusion, and enhance the abilities of local institutions to meet development needs. Women's political participation is a priority of the Foundation's governance work and last year we supported a nationwide voter registration to mobilize women's participation in the 2013 election, following the first civilian government transition in 65 years. Door-to-door voter education efforts were launched at more than 500 polling areas. Nearly 400,000 women turned out to vote, many of whom were issued computerized national identity cards, some for the first time in their lives. Even in villages known for restrictions on women, we worked with local partners to help broker agreements so that women could cast their votes. We supported efforts to include women throughout the entire electoral process, from deploying women as Election Day observers, to training for female political leaders and party members.