Call for proposals: Women’s Political Participation in Pakistan

The deadline to submit a preliminary proposal under the call for preliminary proposals for Women’s Political Participation in Pakistan was March 29, 2018. This call is now closed. Organizations that did not pass the eligibility check have been notified.  Initial merit assessment of the preliminary proposals that have passed the eligibility check is currently underway.

The total amount of funding available under the Women’s Political Participation in Pakistan call for preliminary proposals is Can$18,900,000 over 5 years. We may fund any number of proposals, or none, up to the maximum funding available.

You must submit your preliminary proposal through the Partners@International portal before the deadline. We will not accept any late submissions. Please read the portal instructions carefully and plan to submit your application by March 27th, 2018 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time to ensure that technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting your proposal by March 29th, 2018 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time.

The submission of a preliminary proposal is the first stage of a two-stage application process. Funding cannot be provided on the basis of a preliminary proposal. Be sure to review the instructions in How to apply through a call for preliminary proposals before beginning your application.


Women in Pakistan face significant obstacles to their full participation in social and political life, including entrenched socio-cultural barriers, gender-based violence, patriarchal norms and attitudes, legal discrimination and economic marginalization. This dilemma is reflected in the continued reports of women barred from voting by male community members in parts of Pakistan. According to 2016 statistics, 43% of the 97 million registered voters are women, yet the number of women casting their ballot in elections is significantly lower (female voter data is limited). The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, which measures the level of health, economic participation, education and political gender inequalities, ranked Pakistan 143rd out of 144 countries. Women from Pakistan’s ethnic and religious minorities are often especially marginalized and face additional violence, political, social and cultural barriers.


Under this call, your project proposal must contribute to the achievement of this ultimate outcome:

Your project proposal must contribute to this intermediate outcome:

Your project proposal must also contribute to at least one of these two intermediate outcomes:

You may adjust the call’s ultimate and intermediate outcome statements to ensure they are grounded in the reality of your project design, making them more specific in terms of the who, what, and where of your project. Refer to the Results-Based Management How-To Guide to ensure that your outcome statements respect Global Affairs Canada’s definition for intermediate and ultimate outcomes.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy states that: “No less than 95 percent of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance initiatives will target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” Priority will be given to proposals that meet the requirement of targeting or fully integrating gender equality and womens’ and girls’ empowerment in their design.

Organization eligibility

Carefully review the following eligibility screening requirements that we will use on submitted application packages for this particular call. We will not pre-assess or comment on the eligibility of specific potential applicants. To be eligible, you must meet each requirement and, where stipulated, provide supporting documentation:

If you are unable to meet any of the above requirements, your organization is not eligible to apply under this call.

Preference will be given to organizations that are registered to operate in Pakistan and that can provide supportive documentation of registration as part of their application package.

Project requirements

Carefully review the parameters of this call and judge whether your project idea will fit. We will not respond to questions about the eligibility of your project idea. You must be able to answer “yes” to all of the following statements in order for your application to be considered for funding under this call:

If your proposed project does not conform to the above statements, it will not be assessed because it cannot be considered for funding under this call.

Available resources

There are a number of resources available online to help you develop your application package. We strongly encourage you to read all of the following tools and guidance before beginning your application process. Failure to meet the mandatory requirements, minimum standards and deadlines detailed therein will result in your application package not being considered for funding.

How to submit your application package

In order to be considered in this call, you must submit your complete application package to the Partners@International portal by March 29th, 2018 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time.

Your application package must include all of the following documents:

As explained in How to apply through a call for preliminary proposals, submitting your preliminary proposal is just the first step in the application process. After we review your preliminary proposal, we may invite you to submit a full application package. Funding decisions will only be made on the basis of a full proposal.

Questions on accessing PDF forms

If you are having difficulty downloading the preliminary proposal form, it is generally due to the type of software you have (or do not have) on your computer. Please read and follow the help instructions. If you have all the correct software installed, download the form to your desktop and open it directly in Adobe Reader; otherwise, other software installed on your computer may try (and fail) to open the form using your default settings.

Questions on using the Partners@International portal

Please read and follow all the instructions for using the Partners@International portal (linked on the right side menu). Do not open multiple windows within the portal as this may cause technical problems.


It may take up to 10 business days to register your organization. If you encounter technical difficulties while registering or trying to submit a proposal, send an email to: Please note: during the last two weeks before a call closes, the service standard for replying to your enquiry is three (3) business days. Technical support for the portal is only available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.

Questions specific to this call

If you still have questions about this call after reading the general Questions and answers about applying for funding, please send them to by March 2nd, 2018 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time. We will not respond to questions received after this deadline, or questions on specific organizational circumstances or specific project proposals. Applicants will not receive emails with responses. Answers only appear on the Women’s Political Participation in Pakistan Questions and answers page to ensure that all applicants have access to the same information at the same time.


This is a human rights principle referring to gender equality, economic equality (i.e. reduced income inequality) and equality before the law.
This is autonomy over the shaping of one’s individual life. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.
Young women
These are women who are 15 to 29 years old, in accordance with the official standards of Pakistan.
Gender inclusive
This is an approach that incorporates gender-based analysis and gender-equality perspectives. For example, gender-sensitive human rights training promotes equal rights for women and men and girls and boys, challenges gender stereotypes and bias, and provides examples to ensure that women and men and girls and boys are involved and benefit equally.
Gender responsive
This is an approach to programs, policies, legislative drafting or institutional strengthening that assesses and responds to the different needs/interests of women and men and girls and boys, as well as the differentiated impact of initiatives.
Marginalized groups
Marginalization can be based on, but not limited to, such factors as religion, race, ethnicity, language, age, disability, migrant/refugee status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, members of low-income groups or isolated or hard-to-reach populations. Marginalized individuals or groups are denied equal rights, opportunities and resources for the realization of their human potential.
At risk
This term refers to people or groups who are vulnerable and/or actively being subjected to threats of violence or physical persecution. It also includes vulnerable people who are unable to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of disasters/conflicts. Children, pregnant women, elderly people, malnourished people and people who are ill or immunocompromised are particularly vulnerable in fragile or post-conflict situations or when a disaster strikes.
Democratic institutions
This refers to public institutions at the sub-national and national levels that are mandated to carry out activities that support democracy. In practice, this could include electoral commissions, organizations responsible for voter registration, civil society, media, political parties, parliament, government institutions and departments and city councils.
Independent institutions
These are independent oversight bodies that play a role in monitoring, advocating and safeguarding democracy, human rights and the rule of law. This includes, for example, human rights commissions, audit institutions, ombudspersons, etc.
Democratic processes
This refers to exercises in which voters are called upon to decide collectively. This would include elections, recall elections, direct constitutional changes, referendums and plebiscites. Finally, this concept would also encompass the policies that support these activities.
Non-state actors
This includes civil society organizations (e.g. civic, advocacy, service-oriented, faith-related organizations), the private sector, media organizations and multilateral organizations. Engagement with these actors can be at the sub-national, national and international levels.
The World Development Report of the World Bank defines governance as “the process through which actors (state and non-state) interact to adopt and implement policies.”
Civic life
This concept refers to people’s civic participation in the life of their community or society in order to improve conditions for others and help shape that community or society’s future through both political and non-political activities. Civic activities include running for political office, voting in elections, becoming informed of issues, volunteering, holding and attending community meetings, joining civil and/or political organizations, signing petitions, participating in public debate, electing representatives, joining political parties, undertaking community service and participating in protests.
Political participation
This means that a person is participating in the political process by making his/her opinion and beliefs known. Political participation is any activity that shapes, affects or involves the political sphere.
This includes many concepts, such as resources (e.g. technology, funds, staff, equipment, infrastructure, etc.) knowledge, ability, skills, awareness, attitudes, aspirations, willingness, motivations and processes.
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