Rural support programmes in Pakistan are major players in rural development, with significant outreach. Owing to funding constraints, they are currently exploring an exit strategy whereby they facilitate the formation of multi-tier local support organisations (LSOs), including those exclusively run by women. The present article focuses on the impact of this exit strategy on rural women. The findings, based on survey research, show that women have fared well, been more effective in running the LSOs than men and, despite confronting a conservative culture, have effectively filled in spaces vacated by men.
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