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Sherry rules out amendments in local govt system

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Women Development Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said the government of the Pakistan People’s Party was not considering any amendments in the local government system regarding seats for women representatives.

Talking to Women Councillors Network (WCN) representatives, she said there was no question of depriving women of their right to representation at any level.The PPP government would never consider such a proposal. The WCN representatives called on the minister to express concern over news reports regarding reduction in women’s seats in the Local Government System.

Reports in the media had implied that the NWFP government had decided to amend the Local Government Act 2008, envisaging 50 per cent decrease in women representatives. Neither the PPP nor the Awami National Party (ANP) that leads the NWFP government would support such a proposal.

Women’s empowerment is an integral part of our manifesto pledge and we are bound by our commitment to facilitate political participation for women, she said. Sherry also spoke to Minister for Local Government Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, who denied seeking any such proposal.

The minister said women’s interest would be protected in case of any amendments in the local government system. She said: We would not support any proposition that harms the cause of women’s representation at any level of the governmental set- up. Women’s participation in political activities is the most important part of a democratic order, and our government is working to strengthen it.”

Describing the grassroots contacts of women councillors as their biggest strength, Sherry said women councillors had an opportunity to act as the most effective engines of change.She said there was a need for women councillors to advance the qualitative aspect of their service as they were playing a significant role in bridging the gap between the common citizens and the government machinery.
Source: The News
Date:10/30/2008

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