Shirkat Gah has developed a strong niche in research on issues of women’s empowerment. A separate research unit within the organization was set up in 2008. This unit, headed by Ms. Farida Shaheed, is responsible for theoretically anchored field based analytical research. Programme related research is the responsibility of respective programme teams. Both kinds of research provide evidence for Shirkat Gah’sadvocacy initiatives.

Overview of Shirkat Gah Research & Studies

This four year study funded by IDRC (International Development Research Centre) aims to strengthen health systems governance for reproductive health and rights using a three-pronged intervention model:
Enhance rights seeking behaviour and accountability of duty bearers and services providers
Build capacity of planning and implementation sections of the departments of health and population for improved delivery systems
Create platforms linking duty-bearers and rights holders
The project will run in Shahdadkot, Sukkur, Jafarabad, MuzzafarGarh, Vehari and Mardan.

This study is funded by the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Center for Women (ARROW), EU.
The research report attempts to understand the gender, social and power relations that govern women’s land and property rights, and their access to and control over land and related resources. It proposes improvements that can be made in the next phase of the Sindh Government’s land distribution scheme for landless women peasants. The research study was undertaken by SG in 2012 to assess the scheme’s impact on lives of women in District Thatta, Nawabshah and Sukkur.
Recommendations for the government include:

– Enhance rights seeking behaviour and accountability of duty bearers and services providers
– Better dissemination of information in order to reach maximum number of landless peasants
– Inclusion of female officers in KhuliKarcheris to facilitate women’s engagement with the scheme
– Revenue officers should disseminate information regarding conditions for transfer of land and encourage women to report irregularities
– Carrying out an assessment of women’s needs for trainings and developing linkages between citizens and revenue, agriculture and other relevant government departments

The study, covering four villages (Tali, Dhang, Mir Mohammad Lakho, Gandia) in UC Sakrand, Shaheed Benazirabad District of Sindh, primarily seeks to generate evidence about the impact of climate change on local women and their livelihood strategies. It is conceptualized as a small scale qualitative study with the objective of capturing perceptions and experiences of men and women about changes occurring in their environment, how these affect their livelihoods and their response to them. Secondarily, it hopes to develop a framework and basis for similar studies in different ecological zones to highlight the interconnections between climate change, livelihoods and women towards effective policy formulation and programmatic interventions.
This paper, a part of a wider research study under the Rural Poverty and Environment program, attempts to understand gender, and social and power relations that govern women’s land and property rights, their access and control over land and other related resources. Women’s land rights have not been a major issue taken up by women activists and researchers in Pakistan despite the fact that studies on women’s status, violence against women, political participation, poverty or rural women invariably acknowledge the lack of access and control of women over assets/resources.
This research paper, commissioned by Asian Development Bank as part of background research on topics such as poverty definition, income and non-income poverty, gender and poverty and food security for in-depth examination. The paper reiterates the contention that social exclusion experienced by poor women and its structural roots need to be addressed on a priority basis, because they create the greatest obstacles to women’s empowerment: from home to workplace to the public sphere.
Part of WIDE’s report on Poverty, Inequality and Insecurity, the paper appreciates how various women movements have benefited women but concludes that a lot still needs to be done. It stresses on building alliances with those struggling for social justice, getting involved in international processes and global movements, fine tuning a multiple strategy of challenging measures that push women into greater poverty and insecurity.
With special reference to the Muslim world and the experience of the international network for information, solidarity, and support (Women Living Under Muslim Laws), this paper looks at the intersecting dynamics of power and identity as these relate to struggles for women’s empowerment. The paper draws on Farida’s previous writing on the international network which include ‘Controlled or autonomous: identity and the experience of the network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Volume 19, Number 4, 1994, pp 997-1019.
A research project on Women, Religion and Social Change in countries including Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka provides a unique opportunity to explore the cross-cultural dimensions of continuing tradition and the process of change as these relate to women and in this the role of religion. A grey area of uncertainty, prejudice, and very little research, the role of religion in determining the possible for individual actors, particularly women, has rarely received the attention it deserves.
This paper discusses the use of religion as part of a wider global challenge which is replacing identity based politics with ideological political agendas. The paper also reviews role of Women Living under Muslim Laws Network and its attempt to break isolation faced by women and shatter the myth of ne homogenous Muslim world by sharing information on how laws said to be Muslim vary from one place to another.
This report presents the perspective of NGOs on the implementation of Beijing Platform for action and the challenges for gender advancement. It takes as its starting point the recommendations arrived at by civil society participants taking its lead from the conclusions and the recommendations formulated at the National Consultation.