By: Shamim Bano
Karachi: The first Sindh Women Parliamentary Caucus has been formed with Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as its patron.
Naila Munir of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) will be its convener and Mahtab Akbar Rashdi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) its co-convener, while the PPP’s Iram Khalid will be its secretary and Sorath Thebo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) its treasurer. All female provincial assembly members will be members of its general assembly.
Moreover, the PPP’s Saira Shahliani, Farhat Seemi, Kulsoom Akhtar Chandio, Khairunisa Mughal and Rukhsana Shah, the MQM’s Naheed Begum and Rana Ansar, the PML-F’s Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi, the PML-N’s Sorath Thebo and Seema Zia of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will be in its working council.
The formation of the caucus was formally announced by Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at the assembly.
Women are the basic unit of society: they make families, families make homes and homes make societies, said Durrani.
“We should never think that a society could come into existence without the contribution of women. Men and women should work shoulder to shoulder, as both of them play an important role in the development of any country.”
There is no doubt that if women are given the right platform they will smoothly carry the nation towards development, he added.
The speaker said the caucus would work for the enhancement of the role of female provincial assembly members for promoting social, economic and political empowerment of the women of Sindh through legislation and oversight with core values: respect for human rights, diversity of language, culture, minorities, all ethnic groups, each other’s opinions, tolerance, cooperation, honesty, integrity, responsibility, accountability and teamwork.
National Assembly Women Parliamentary Caucus patron Fahmida Mirza congratulated the Sindh Assembly’s speaker and deputy speaker.
Fahmida said the services rendered by Fatima Jinnah, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, Benazir Bhutto, Justice (retd) Majida Rizvi and scores of women activists for the cause of women’s rights would be remembered in history.
Objectives of the caucus
1. To attain a broad-based consensus among all women members of the assembly on an agreed agenda for women development, empowerment and emancipation, enabling them to work beyond and above party lines for the uplift of the women in Sindh.
2. To enhance the role of women members of the provincial assembly in proposing gender-sensitive legislation, reviewing and amending discriminatory laws and policies.
3. Ensure effective assembly oversight of implementation of provincial, national, regional and international commitments.
4. Network and exchange views and information with other caucuses, experts, civil society organisations and the media on areas of critical concerns regarding women’s empowerment, nationally and internationally.
5. Review of rules of procedures to ensure women’s continued access to and participation in the provincial assembly.
6. To jointly work for the achievement of social indicators so that the millennium development goals and the sustainable development goals are within reach.