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Project Background

Women’s Voice and Leadership-Pakistan (WVL-P), is a five-year, $8 million project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and implemented by Oxfam Canada, in collaboration with Oxfam in Pakistan. The project is part of GAC’s Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Program, a global initiative to support the capacity and activities of local and regional women’s organizations and movements seeking to empower women and girls, advance the protection of women’s and girls’ rights, and achieve gender equality.

The project seeks to increase Pakistani women’s and girls’ rights and to advance gender equality in Pakistan by strengthening the individual and collective capacity of women’s rights organizations (WROs), women’s rights experts and coalitions within the women’s movement.

Over the course of five years (2019 to 2024), the project will work with 12 core partner WROs that represent the country’s geographic and demographic diversity, that are inclusive of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority groups, and that possess gender expertise in different thematic areas. Using a strategic combination of funding mechanisms and capacity-strengthening support, WVL-Pakistan will strengthen these organizations to be better managed and self-sustaining and to deliver programming that better meets the needs of the women they serve. It will also improve the ability of WROs and human right experts to work together more effectively to better influence gender-transformative policy.

WVL-Pakistan is built on three pillars that correspond to its three intermediate outcomes:

  1. Improved management, programming and sustainability of local WROs in Pakistan, particularly those representing vulnerable and marginalized women and girls
  2. Enhanced delivery of campaigns and programming by WROs to advance gender equality in Pakistan
  3. Increased effectiveness of national and sub-national[1] women’s rights platforms, networks and alliances to effect gender-sensitive policy change and implementation in Pakistan

In addition to this capacity strengthening support provided to these core WROs (already selected), another key funding mechanism under the WVL-P project is the “Issues-based Responsive Funding Mechanism”. Two types of grants will be made under this Issue-based Responsive Funding Mechanism:

  • fast, responsive funding for discrete activities and short projects to allow for nimble, timely and strategic responses to events and opportunities, and to pilot innovative ideas focused on strengthening women’s rights in Pakistan; and
  • grants that aim to support WROs to use evidence-based knowledge and best practices to influence policy and practice on women’s rights, with a focus on shared learning.

Both of these grants will invite applications twice a year (during the next two years). Each grant cycle will have a clear thematic focus based on the prevailing context (time period), around which WROs will be invited to submit their meaningful ideas to respond to the highlighted women’s rights issues.

This current RFA advertisement is the first grant cycle of the fast, responsive funding, and invites applications addressing the recovery needs of women and girls in the COVID-19 context in Pakistan.

Scope and focus of the call

The focus of this call for applications is to respond to the emerging recovery needs of diverse categories of women and girls impacted by COVID-19 (including differently abled women, pregnant women, elderly women, widows, women home-based workers, women domestic workers and daily wagers, as well as other women in minority groups).

As Pakistan was greatly hit by this pandemic where government as well as other private entities and civil society organizations contributed to play an effective role in terms of distribution of hygiene items, enabling community’s access to government cash transfer schemes launched during COVID-19, raising community awareness on prevention from this pandemic spread and dissemination of knowledge materials on Standard Operating Procedures etc. Some philanthropic interventions central to food distribution and other in-kind materials remained quite visible during COVID-19 scenario. The spiking COVID-19 rates risks overwhelming Pakistan’s health system, slashing growth, derailing recovery, and pushing the country’s most vulnerable further into poverty, further widening the gender inequalities. According to calculations of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), around 20 million to 70 million population of the country could fall below the poverty line in the current COVID-19 perspective.

The pandemic impacted all social groups in Pakistan, and yet its gender and equity related impacts need to be closely understood and responded to, especially for those at risk groups outlined above.

Poverty and other social vulnerabilities faced by these groups require specific interventions at the COVID-19 recovery stage to address different ways in which COVID-19 has exacerbated underlying gender and social inequalities.

The focus of this call is on:

  1. Supporting WROs to remain active and thrive in the COVID-19 context;
  2. Strengthening the ability of WROs to uphold and advocate for women and girls rights in the COVID-19 context; and
  3. Supporting the ability of WROs to provide services that support women and girls’ rights in the COVID-19 context.

A focus on women and girls within the applications is required as part of the project design and implementation strategy/methodology.

Innovative approaches are welcomed (including, but not limited to, applications of digital technology, as well as arts and culture-based approaches). This might involve the promotion and extension of existing innovative activities that have been used during the COVID-19 response to date, in order to ensure the rights, and meet the different needs of the diverse groups outlined above.

WVL-P aims to distribute a total of approximately 58,000 CAD under this grant fund from Dec 20, 2020-March 20, 2021.  Most grants will have budgets of CAD 10,000 – 13,000. WVL-P will accept applications only for smaller grants of maximum 3 months for this cycle. No long-term project applications are required under this grant cycle and these may be expected in the next grant cycles in following year(s).

It is important to mention here that this funding will be awarded as grants. We will not award any cooperative agreements. The operating procedures of grant management will be guided under the policy purview of Oxfam in line with additional donor requirements by Global Affairs Canada.   


[1] For this project, “sub-national” is understood to mean the provincial, district, and local level.



This grant funding is open to all legally registered Pakistani women’s rights organizations. All project ideas must clearly meet the scope and focus of the call outlined below.


Furthermore, the following situations will make an applicant ineligible under this call:

  • Organizations which are highlighted on any of the various prohibitive or restrictive lists of the GOP and World Counter Check;
  • an organization that has had any previous award terminated by Oxfam or any other donor on account of poor performance and repute;

an organization (or its key personnel) convicted at any time by a court of competent jurisdiction for a crime under Pakistani Law;

How to Apply

Download Complete Document:

Call for Proposals Covid2019 Women and Girls 

The proposal should be addressed to:

Oxfam HR Department  

Plot # 2, Street # 11A, Idrees Market, F-10/2, Islamabad

Note: Please mention the title on the envelope “[YOUR ORGANIZATION NAME]’s APPLICATION FOR ISSUE-BASED RESPONSIVE GRANT FUNDING FOR COVID-19 RECOVERY ACTIONS -CYCLE 1- November 2020 – SHORT TERM”.  If we receive any anonymous (without mentioning title) envelop, we will not consider it for further evaluation.