Peshraft Foundation for Human Rights
Peshraft (an Urdu word that means progress) is a unique initiative to focus and monitor the Pakistan’s progress upon the globally recognized Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) with special reference to girls, women & gender in the country in accordance with the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The organisation, started in January 2014, is women collective, aimed to promote human rights for women in the context of their economic, social and cultural empowerment through ever-evolving strategies and activities in both conceptual and practical realms by giving them support in attaining their financial independence with a special focus on the right to health.
Peshraft will have a national focus in the initial phase however, as support is gathered over the time, it plans to expand the sphere of its activities regionally and globally. From its base in Pakistan, the organisation works to promote the rights of women to water, food, shelter, health, education and work for addressing women’s poverty, by bringing a gender perspective to policy, laws and practice at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Peshraft will work towards attainment of the democratic rights for girls, women and communities at large, for it strongly believes that democracy as representation of the collective will of people and it cannot simply be functional by merely pushing a button, rather it is a process which the people initiate by conscious decisions and sustain it by subscribing to its principles in theory and practice. While democracy is sustained through constitutional and bureaucratic means, it requires an auxiliary socio-cultural climate to flourish. The society must be constitutive of participatory governance, political pluralism, gender equality and an inclusive education system to grasp concepts such as liberty, equality, justice, law, the rights and responsibilities of the state and its people.
The possibility of violence permeates women’s lives from birth to death and also, it is estimated that women represent 70% of the world’s poor and two third of the world’s illiterates while they own only 1% of the world’s wealth. Women often work for longer hours than men, but substantial part of their work remains unrecognized, under-valued and unappreciated. Women’s poverty is one of the priority areas and Peshraft seeks to explore how the national and international human rights framework can be used to address these issues.
Peshraft seeks partnerships with the organizations and other networks working on a similar agenda in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America that are able to share expertise, strengthen human resources and create tools to raise awareness around women’s ESCR. Our leadership development programme is aimed at addressing these needs from the local to the global level.