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Women councillors ask govt not to reduce their representation

PESHAWAR: Women Councillors Alliance on Saturday demanded of the government not to reduce their representation in the local government system through the proposed amendments.

Addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club (PPC), women councillors Nasim Riaz, Farhat Begum and Munawwar Jehan said that women constitute half of the country’s population but they do not get equal opportunities for their wellbeing and development.

“Most of the women still do not have access to education, health and other basic facilities. In this way, more than 50 per cent of the population of the country is deprived of their rights,” they said.

The councillors said that women were given 33 per cent representation in the local government system and had at least six seats in each union council, but in the second tenure of the local bodies their seats were reduced to four in each union council through an amendment.

They said that if the government further decreased their seats, the womenfolk would be unable to play their due role in political process and no female would take part in local government elections in future.

The government should propose such amendments that could further empower the female of the country, they said, demanding that the government must reserve naib nazim seat in every union council for females.

They asked the government to formulate such a budget that could serve the purpose of gender development and make female members of district councils chairpersons of district monitoring committees as at present no female was functioning in that capacity.

Female’s participation in decision making process should be made essential as all the powers rest with district nazim at present. Their (women’s) participation in union council level politics should be increased which serve as a beginning point in the world of politics.

They said female members of local bodies could better understand the problems of women and could play a greater role in their solution.

“We are not against amendments in the local government system but the amendments should strengthen the system, not sent us home altogether,” they said.
Source: Daily Times

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