Aurat Publication and Information Service Foundation (Aurat Foundation) is a national, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to working for women's empowerment and democratic governance in Pakistan. It has its headquarters in Islamabad and four regional offices in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta with over 120 employees. It is a major support organization for civil society organizations, federal, provincial, and local governments and political parties, among other public and private institutions, with an extensive countrywide network of voluntary citizens’ groups and individual activists in the 110 districts of Pakistan.
Aurat Foundation acts as a catalyst to enable critical groups to influence policy, legislation and programmes for greater economic and political power for women in society. In advocacy on women's rights issues, Aurat Foundation has strategised to develop linkages grassroots organizations and macro-level decision-makers. A mutually collaborative relationship has developed with various departments and organs of the Government of Pakistan.The work of Aurat Foundation has developed into an over-arching Objective for ‘Strengthening Civil Society for Women’s Participation in Governance in Pakistan.’
This objective is operationalised by the three key Programmes of the Foundation:
- The Information Programme for Grassroots Organization and Action by Women
- The Programme for Strengthening Citizens’ for Advocacy and Action for Women
- The Programme for Affirmative Legislation and Policies for Women
The three Programmes are in turn supported by institutional structures integrated into Aurat’s work, and which include its Information Network Centres, Citizens Action Committees and Legislative Watch Groups. Finally, Aurat Foundation has identified three strategic areas of intervention to define the operational parameters for these Programmes:
- Information for women to build their capacity for decision-making and action, and information about women’s issues and concerns to decision makers,
- Capacity building of citizens groups, public authorities and public representatives to support women’s participation in decision-making and their activism, as well as to enhance their access to opportunities and facilities at the local and district levels,
- Advocacy for developing an enabling environment for women’s empowerment and participatory democracy in Pakistan.
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