KARACHI, Feb 1: A Women Political School has been set up to train and provide guidelines to nazims on how to behave with women councillors and to treat them as an equal partner. The programme will provide guidelines on how to assist them in planning and budgeting their development schemes in their respective constituencies.
The training programme is designed for 1,100 nazims and an equal number of naib nazims in Sindh.
The school completed a training programme for 4,211 women councillors to prepare them for more effective performance within their respective councils. The course trained the women councillors for active participation in deliberations, influencing policies, budgets, access to funds and getting schemes approved. The course is to be completed in 2007.
The project manager of the UNDP funded programme which was implemented through the Sindh Women Development Department is Ghazala Kazi. She told Dawn that the course for nazims is aimed at ‘gender sensitisation’ was planned after complaints from women councillors that the nazims do not allow them to sit in the council session and if at all they are allowed they are not permitted to air their views on different issues.
She said in a recent briefing, the prime minister was so impressed by the efficacy of the programme that he agreed to extend the training programme up to 2011 and provide funding for the project.
The biggest achievement of the programme apart from training women councillors is creation of a resource pool of about 100 trainers consisting of universities teacher, students and people from NGOs. The services of these trainers, who got familiar with the rural population, could be hired by other organisations, she said.
Highlighting success of the course for women councillors, she said that the councillors mostly illiterate, were taught about the local government system and their responsibilities with the help of pictures and graphics. They were trained in the art of advocacy, planning, budgeting and monitoring progress on projects as well as on how to serve the people for whom they were elected.