Women And Development Association (WADA)
Women And Development Association (WADA) was founded in 2001 by a group of motivated and dynamic women from low-income backgrounds to promote labor rights and eradicate labor abuse. The organisation’s mission is “to provide workers with social, economic and political rights, and to provide knowledge about women’s rights and skill development.” WADA provides working women with a platform to develop support systems and skills through community mobilization, trainings and events. WADA started out as a CBO and operated from the founders’ houses through funding from the Global Fund for Women. Today, it has expanded its reach to more than 850 members. CSRC’s trainings and assistance has helped WADA in developing a sound financial and management set-up and connecting with donors, such as the Sungi Development Foundation, to mobilize resources.
WADA focuses on empowering women in low-income areas of Karachi such as Orangi Town, Korangi, New Karachi and Lyari. One of the major issues WADA is attempting to tackle is the restriction on women to travel to work and purchase basic necessities. This is usually due to family-imposed restrictions and lack of transportation. Using learning from communication and conflict management components of the leadership training, WADA has facilitated home-based retail stores to attune communities to the concept of working women and to allow women to shop independently. These initiatives have bettered the lives of many women who were previously confined to their houses.
WADA is currently working with the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) to implement a microfinance project. WADA and Homenet Pakistan are also working with the Ministry of Labour, Women’s Ministry and EOBI to develop national polices on the rights of home-based workers. As part of this initiative, WADA has represented Pakistan on a number of international forums relating to labour and women’s rights. WADA’s leadership is voicing the predicament of workers and women in Pakistan on international platforms. WADA has empowered many home-based workers and have become a forum for discussing and resolving their issues.