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‘Women should be involved in decision-makingÂ’

Civil society activists and women politicians have called for going beyond token representation of women in politics and institutions and advocated for creating sufficient space for women in the decision-making process.

They expressed these views at a dialogue, titled: “Space for women participation in polls”, jointly organized by Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), Centre for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS) and Cavish Development Foundation (CDF) here on Friday.

Jami Chandio of the CPCS said that the purpose of elections and democracy would not be served until women were given equal participation in political affairs. He said that political parties had often given “token representation” to women but in decision-making they were largely ignored. He suggested that women should be given guarantee of equal participation under the party’s constitution.

SZABIST research fellow Nusrat Lashari said that Benazir Bhutto had set precedent for women’s participation in politics. She, however, feared that her assassination might lead to further limitations for women in the political process.

Seemi Malik of PML-N said that male leaders of political parties had not formulated the policies that ultimately benefit women members.

Former legislator Nasrin Chandio said that discriminatory attitude towards women was discouraging them morally and socially from taking part in almost every field of society.

Humaira Khaleeq, a writer, said that women were being presented in “cosmetic way” in politics, literature and art.

Salma Murad of PML-Q suggested that women politicians belonging to all political parties should strive jointly for attaining their rights irrespective of their affiliations.

Humaira Alwani of PPP-P said that she belonged to apolitical family but she joined politics after being inspired by Benazir Bhutto.

Source: The News
Date:2/16/2008

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