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‘Women legislators’ caucus in provinces soon’

Karachi: Women legislators’ caucus would be established in all four provinces to enhance their capacity building and involve them in policy making, as democracy could not be strengthened and the country could not make progress without the involvement of 51 per cent population, said Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday flanked by Pakistan People’s Party’s Information Secretary, Sindh, Waqar Mehdi and Sindh Minister for Social Welfare, Nargis N.D. Khan, she said that she would be holding a meeting with women legislators of Sindh in this regard on Saturday.

Mirza said that she was inspired by the performance of women parliamentarians’ caucus in National Assembly. “Their positive contribution has also been appreciated by the International Parliamentarians Union (IPU) of 154 democratic countries, which should be a matter of pride for Pakistan,” she said. She also showed a copy of the IPU’s report about the role of 16 women parliamentarians elected on general seats and seven others nominated on reserved seats.

The NA Speaker said that it was because of this caucus that bills pertaining to domestic violence and harassment at workplaces were presented. She said that owing to efforts of these women MPs, recruitment of women in police has been restarted which was stopped after the overthrowing of Benazir Bhutto government in mid 1990s.

Defending the performance of the parliament, Fehmida Mirza said that 17 bills were passed while 70 more were under consideration by standing committees. “The good thing is that 60 per cent bills were presented by women legislators, which shows that they are playing an active role in the legislation,” she said while pointing out that around 23 resolutions were also passed unanimously.

Similarly, she added, she immediately appointed Ch. Pervez Illahi of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) as opposition leader as compared to the past when the leader of opposition was appointed after two years and who also did not belong to the majority party.
Source: The News
Date:11/21/2009

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