The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and Bank AL Habib have signed a Letter of Interest (LOI) committing to work together and empower women and girls through sport-based human development interventions. Their focus is to mobilize marginalized communities.
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NCHR is currently engaged in a project around this theme through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), supported by the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan. However, NCHR has identified the need to support the most vulnerable and marginalized group within this project – the Women United Football Academy in Quetta. The LOI serves as a comprehensive framework outlining the terms of the agreement for Bank AL Habib’s sponsorship of the Hazara Women United Football Academy in Quetta. This strategic partnership aims to bolster the academy’s capacity to train and equip more girls, thereby extending the impact of the ongoing CFLI project. Moreover, the sponsorship is designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Academy beyond the completion of the CFLI project.
‘Empower Her’ is an NCHR initiative designed to tackle the challenges that hinder girls and women from participating in sports, particularly football, in Pakistan. Despite significant progress in various fields, girls and women in Pakistan still encounter numerous barriers to access and participation in sports. These challenges include limited sports infrastructure, inadequate funding, deeply ingrained societal stereotypes and gender biases, a shortage of training and developmental opportunities, and a dearth of female representation at all sporting levels.
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‘Empower Her’ aims to redress these disparities by establishing a supportive and inclusive sports ecosystem that empowers women and girls to actively participate, compete, and excel in football. The project will initially focus on four cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Quetta, Chitral, and Islamabad. To achieve these goals, the NCHR has collaborated with local implementing partners deeply embedded within the beneficiary communities including Karishma Ali Foundation in Chitral, Women United Football Academy in Quetta, and Karachi United Foundation in Karachi.