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Stepping stone: ‘Female participation in LG elections is vital’

Stepping stone: ‘Female participation in LG elections is vital’

KARACHI: Home-based female participation in the upcoming local government election is vital for establishing home-based workers at grassroots level.

To promote this idea, a press conference was organised by Home Net Pakistan (HNP) on Friday at Karachi Press Club. HNP’s capacity building programme is aimed at engaging and motivating women to join in the upcoming elections. Eighty-five female pioneers from 22 locations of Punjab and Sindh participated in the capacity-building session and demonstrated their full backing for female participation.

Presiding over the conference, HNP’s executive director Umme Laila Azhar said, “Local government is considered the nursery level for future governance and leadership; moreover it provides women an invaluable experience so it is really important for women to get recognition in the local government.”

HNP strives to empower home-based workers to realise their strengths and rights in the field of economics, politics and society through the adoption of fair trade practices and improvement in their living conditions, explained Azhar.

Currently, there are more than 12 million home-based female workers in the country and of them about five million work in Sindh in different departments, including glass work, garment sector, textile mills and agriculture.

“It’s important to change their perspective. The major barriers to women’s participation are the old culture and socio-economic issues, so this issue should be raised to greater levels,” said Mehnaz Rehman of the Aurat Foundation. “Women should be given their rights and respect, which is what they deserve the most,” she said.

Speaking at the conference, Farhat Fatima a representative of PILER added that the “local government runs on four principles”. According to her, the first are municipal issues such as water management, sanitary problems and health. Property supervision is second and local conflict resolution is third, while the last is the expenditure of resources.

“A ll these issues are related to women and I can easily say that women can do much better in these departments,” claimed Fatima.

Female involvement is important to foster the local government, as women are dedicated towards their work and can fight for those poor women who suffer domestic violence and other circumstances, Fatima further said.

Representatives from the district action committees of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Sangar, Dadu and Thatta were present at the event, to show their support for the programme. One of them said there are two ways to solve our issues, one is a functional government who takes responsibility to sort out issues and the other is to find a way with the collaboration of stakeholders.

Express Tribune

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