ISLAMABAD: The Parliament House is not a women-friendly workplace in terms of facilities.
According to data collected by The Express Tribune, currently there are around 45 female staff members working in various departments of the Parliament House against 72 women MNAs and 19 women senators.
Some of the female staff members, who wished not to be named, told The Express Tribune that the Parliament House currently lacked crucial facilities such as a daycare centre, an exclusive breastfeeding area and a designated room for female staff members.
One of the female staff members said it was difficult for married women workers to leave their infants at homes.
“We wish we could have a daycare centre at the Parliament House where we can leave our infants and also breastfeed them,” she said.
On the one hand, the government talks about improving breastfeeding rate in Pakistan which is currently just 38 percent and on the other it makes no effort for establishing daycare centers at workplaces, she said.
Secretary of the Women Parliament Caucus MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik said: “This issue has never been raised … this is why it has been neglected.”
She said so far the Women Parliament Caucus had not received any such complaint from any of the female staff member or even from women parliamentarian.
“As far as I know currently, there is no woman parliamentarian who has an infant and needs a daycare centre,” she said.
“However, I support the idea of establishing a daycare centre at the Parliament House, besides addressing other issues faced by female staff members. I will take up this matter with the Speaker of the National Assembly and hope he will address it,” said Malik.