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Shaping politics: Where do women stand?

In times When the Whole country is talking about women s participation in The forthcoming elections, provincial Minister for Social Welfare, Zill-e­Huma’s murder came as a blow for the whole nation. A seminar in Karachi concluded that women should stand for their rights and do not Stay for their right and do not stay away from politics due to such qualms.

Corning elections in Pakistan has forced the stakeholders in poli­tics to look around for new faces, assess the mistakes in the past and analyse what needs to be done in the future. Women participation in politics has always been a debatable issue before and after every election. For this purpose, Women Media Center (WMC) provided a two-day platform to men and women representing various fields.

As the seminar was towards conclusion at a local hotel in Karachi, politicians like Javed Jabbar (Former Information Minister), Sassi Palejo (MPA-
PPPP), Sardar Rahim (MPA-PML-N), Farheena Ambreen (M1-MQI) Heer Sohu (MPA-MQM) and Dr Farah Aslarn (J1) were highlighting as what needs to be done for the emancipation of women in politics.

Suddenly came the news that Provincial Minister for Social Welfare, Zill-e-Huma was murdered by some maniac named Maulvi Saiwar who claimed that it is ‘immoral’ for women to come out and play part in politics.

It made everybody think that while living in this part of the world, can we talk or even think about women empowerment, emancipation and participation in politics. The reality is completely opposite.

It is pertinent to highlight another recent attempt of assault on Sherry Rehman, a PPP politician at a public rally. It is difficult to assess as what actually is going on in the country? On one hand, the head of the state talks about enlightened moderation’, bringing women in all spheres of life and empowering them socially, politically and economically. While on the other hand, came up the recent honour killing incidents in Sindh and Punjab targeting less privileged women and in other the educated females like Sherry and Huma were attacked in public in the broad daylight.

The incidents are the true reflection of male chauvinism in our society. These actions have spread a layer of fear among women in general and particularly in politics. Whether politically motivated or socially stimulated such crimes not only portray the bad image of the country but also demoralise women who want to come out and contribute positively to the society.

The seminar discussed strategies for participation of women in con­temporary politics under the title ‘Political Party Structure and Women Representation’.
There was a consensus amongst all the participants that the poor infrastructure, pathetic mindset, taboos or a less helping hand shouldn’t impede their development even if it is politics. Women themselves have to enlighten, empower and unite to make a better network.

While addressing the participants the Former Minister of Information Javed Jabbar emphasised upon the involvement of masses. “People shout( not be indifferent to the situations. They should be aware and politicians should be held accountable. This is, only possible when people participate and media play its true role. Media should publish names to make them answerable in adverse circumstances,” added Javed Jabbar.

Besides this, women participation should be in which media can play an important role. Media should highlight the women politicians who raise their voice for masses. We have seen the acceptance of women politicians but they have to have a say. They should not come in as a showpiece or puppet but, should stand out as an individual. The speakers of the seminar also pointed out that media only focuses on the female politicians who have pleasant appearance or have high profile regardless of those who are working selflessly.

“We should not degrade ourselves. We have to fight for our due rights. Media should change the perception as a glamorous woman is not every woman and their issues are not the common issue,” said Sassi Palejo. “Biased and unobjective reporting will only encourage yellow journalism, which is unethical,” she added.

Women have to focus on their aims and objectives. No doubt, our women politicians despite facing many problems are surviving and struggling for the benefit of not only women but of the whole society. Though, they have made room in this male oriented system, things still need time to change, as reforms do, not come overnight.

Source: The News