Empowering women in India and Pakistan to find a path out of poverty

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  • October 22, 2019
British Asian Trust

The Halcrow Foundation is proud to be part of the multi-million pound Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme, which is run by British Asian Trust and funded by a number of donors, including the UK Government’s Department for International Development.

By 2022, this far-reaching project aims to give 60,000 marginalised women from urban and rural areas in India and Pakistan the skills, materials and opportunities to find work or grow their own businesses.

Gender roles

In India, women living on a low income can be hit hard by poverty. In Southern Punjab, one of the regions covered by the programme, only 6.1 percent of women have jobs. Traditional gender roles mean women often have limited access to the resources, services, knowledge and markets needed to build a business or find employment.

The Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme gives these women the tools and confidence to make money and manage their income, empowering them to lift their families out of poverty. This in turn brings greater opportunity to invest in the education and health of their children, and grow the local economy.

Training and support

Since the programme began in July 2017, thousands of women in India and Pakistan have begun their journey out of poverty. In Pakistan alone more than 5,600 women have gained access to financial services through training and support, and 5,300 women have increased their income. Around 4,500 women are training in business management or a vocation and more than 1,300 have paid internships, apprentices, jobs and self-employment.

With funding from the Halcrow Foundation, 240 women in India and Pakistan will receive skills training and support to access the formal job market or set up their own enterprise. Support from the Halcrow Foundation is also helping the British Asian Trust to build their Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme to benefit thousands more women and girls in the future.

About the British Asian Trust

The British Asian Trust is a diaspora-led international development organisation, founded in 2017 by HRH the Prince of Wales and a group of visionary British Asian business leaders. It delivers high-quality programmes in South Asia, specialising in and championing the use of social finance products to drive positive change across the region.

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