ISLAMABAD – Only 15 female lawmakers out the total 70 were present in the National Assembly when the house passed a unanimous resolution to support equal rights for women, on the International Women’s Day.
The house, which remained suspended for 50 minutes due to lack of quorum, adopted the resolution as mark of respect and to acknowledge the vital role being played the women in the society.
In all, there were only 40 members (both male and female) in the house when it took to paying tribute to all the women who have struggled as homemakers and breadwinners.
Through the resolution, moved by Shaista Pervaiz Malik, the house recognized that there was a long path to traverse to create an enabling environment conducive to the empowerment and protection of women as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan.
It also celebrated all the women who have contributed to the democratic struggle in the country and condemned all acts of injustice, discrimination and violence against women.
The opposition, except Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), staged walkout from the proceedings of the House when Pakistan Peoples’ Party MNA Nafeesa Shah was not given floor to speak in connection with the International Women’s Day.
Most of them, after ending their walkout left the house soon after speaking on a motion. Only three women MNAs were present when discussion on the topic concluded.
The lawmakers mainly from opposition benches while speaking on the motion in connection with International Women’s Day raised voice for unavailability of funds for women on reserved seats, improper legislation and its implementation for women.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while paying tribute to women assured to address their concerns without mentioning the concerns raised by women lawmakers.
Paying tribute to all working women and others, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Shaista Pervaiz said there was a need for proper legislation for women.
“We need a proper share in everything,” said the mover of the bill, while lauding the role of women from rural and urban areas.
Dr Fazal Pechuho from PPP also asked government to provide proper funds to women on reserved seats. She appreciated the role of women for democracy and freedom of the country.
PPP’s Shazia Marri said there was no proper implementation of the laws made to ensure rights of the women. She paid tribute to Benazir Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto for their efforts for democracy.
Shafqat Mehmood from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said there was a need to provide proper environment to women at workplaces. Citing a case of workplace harassment in Pakistan Television (PTV), he said the victim female anchor had to leave the organization. He said there was a need for proper legislation for heredity also.
Dr Arif Alvi of PTI stressed the need for education of women. “Women are weak in society because of the exiting social setup,” he remarked.
Other lawmakers also paid tribute to women, particularly Muslim women who contributed in different fields. They said women played an important role in the independence of Pakistan. They paid tribute to women who struggled for democracy, including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Begum Kalsoom Nawaz.
Two bills, ‘The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Bill 2017’ and ‘The Constitution (Twenty-seventh Amendment) Bill, 2017’ were also introduced in the house.
The assembly also offered fateha for the souls of Captain Junaid and Sepoy Amjad who were martyred in a clash with terrorists in Swabi.