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Government mulls increasing women’s quota in parliament

ISLAMABAD: The Law and Justice Division is considering constitutional amendments to increase women’s quota in parliament from the current 18 percent to 33 percent, and the new law may be made part of the government’s proposed constitutional reforms package.

Sources familiar with the developments told Daily Times on Wednesday that the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs had asked the Law and Justice Division to consider the required changes to implement recommendations made in a July 21-23 roundtable on Gender Mainstreaming through Legal Reforms.

Earlier, the Planning and Development Division had asked the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to implement the recommendations, in a letter dated September 4.

One of the recommendations sought an “increase [in] the reserved seats for women in provincial assemblies, the National Assembly and Senate to 33 percent”. The ministry said implementing the suggestions required changes in Articles 51, 59 and 106 of the constitution, which the Law and Justice Division could include in the constitutional reforms package.

Another recommendation sought “training and capacity building of women legislators and councillors”. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs said in its response the Senate had already passed the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services Bill of 2007 to address training issues. The bill was passed in August this year. The National Centre for Rural Development also runs a training programme, it added.
Source: Daily Times
Date:10/23/2008

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