WEC – Women Councilors Empowerment through Computer Literacy.
Women in South Asia are facing many hardships because of cultural barriers and overall deprivation. This calls for immediate action to empower women by opening up new avenues for economic uplift. To address such a need, the aim of this information-sharing project was to facilitate the Social & Political empowerment of women councilors and the transfer of knowledge between Asian Local Councils through various channels. The basic idea of this project lied in setting up a net of IT training centers for women councilors in South Asia to fight the digital divide that separates women and men in Pakistan. WEC supported the targeted groups, which were primarily women councilors, with software IT Tools, publications, as well as consultancy support.
Following methodology was adopted to get significant improvement in status of South-Asian women;
Use of electronic media: Electronic media was used for women education programmes and to built a supportive environment in these countries.
Information Network Centers: Information focal points and information network centers were established which channeled the information from councilors to Asian women.
Support structures through community based organizations and local groups: Selected community based organizations and supportive local groups were strengthened to act as support structures for local groups of women and facilitated women’s access to government and non-government programmes and resources for their development.
Political education through the support structures: To encourage women’s political activities and to provide the training ground for more active participation in the formal political processes of the country necessary support mechanisms were initiated.
Citizens groups: Citizen groups at district level were strengthened to take up the women development issues.
Contacts with policy makers etc.: Contacts were reinforced with policy makers, planners and technology transfer organizations for advocacy and interventions to integrate women’s concerns in policies, programmes and allocation of funds for their development.
Political education for political party women: Political education was provided to women of political parties and in local bodies to strengthen their effective participation in the political institutions at all levels.
Description of Activities:
This is a 2-year project to be implemented in different phases. Since the project focused on active participation of women in decision-making, it was started with the establishment of a task force, to undertook the awareness raising initiatives.
Main activities performed were:
Socio-economic survey: A socio-economic survey was conducted covering the selected areas of the three countries including suburban and peripheral areas.
Development of a Portal Website: A website was developed to provide a platform for the south-Asian politicians. Initially it included information about Pakistan but later on it was replicated throughout the world.
Community Development Activities: Community was developed as a local grass root organization to get it involved in the task of women empowerment. The project design, implementation and maintenance were developed considering management and financial constraints of the community.
Seminars & Workshops: Seminars and workshops were conducted for information sharing and to bridge up communication gap between male and female councillors.
Capacity Building of the Councillors: A capacity building exercise was carried out to strengthen the decision making power of the women councilors. Review of the rules and procedures, both administrative and financial, was done in order to remove any shortcomings and make it compatible with the latest trends and needs of the organization.
HRD Activities: Training activities at various levels on managerial, leadership and communication skills for the women councilors were carried out. An HRD plan was developed on the basis of a TNA exercise.
Community Training Activities: Specific training courses for the community members were designed to enhance their management capabilities and to make them aware of their role and responsibilities.