By Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD: Women legislators and political leaders belonging to almost all major political parties on Thursday called for allocation of 10 per cent mandatory quota of party tickets for women in the next elections.
The demand came from the women parliamentarians in the form of a declaration at the conclusion of a roundtable on “Strengthening women`s representation in political and legislative process” organised by the Women Parliamentary Caucus here.
“We resolve to build consensus among the political parties to amend the political parties act so as to provide mandatory quota of 10 per cent of winnable general seats to women to mainstream them in electoral processes before the next elections,” said the declaration released to the media.
Deputy Chairman Senate Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali was the chief guest at the conference that was attended by women representatives from the Pakistan People`s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), PML-Q, Awami National Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, PPP(Sherpao), Balochistan National Party and the PML(Functional).
Speaking on the occasion, the deputy chairman Senate highlighted the meaningful role women had been playing in the legislative business. He admitted the nexus between sustainable development and the role of women at the political and decision-making process, and recommended the need to give a minimum of 33 per cent representation to women in the legislative assemblies.
WPC secretary and PPP MNA Nafisa Shah referred to the outstanding and proactive performance of the women legislators in legislative business in the recent years.
She recommended to the political parties to review the existing special measures for women`s participation in the legislatures making it more transparent, effective and empowering for women in politics.
The participants of the roundtable, including senior office-bearers of the political parties and members of the national and provincial assemblies, resolved to protect and preserve the provision of reserved seats for women in the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assemblies. They also committed to enhancing and strengthening women`s representation in legislatures by working within their respective political parties to increase women`s representation at all levels of decision-making in the political forums.
Prominent among those who attended the event were Yasmeen Rehman (PPP), Bushra Gauhar (ANP), Asiya Nasir (JUI-F), Tasneem Siddiqui (PML-Q), Nuzhat Sadiq (PML-N), PPP Senator Saeeda Iqbal, Senator Farah Aqil, and MPA Nargis Faiz Malik.
Through the declaration, the participants of the roundtable recalled that “the Constitution of Pakistan provides women equal rights, rejects all forms of discrimination and promotes their full participation in public life.”
They also paid tributes to women leaders of Pakistan, particularly Fatima Jinnah, Rana Liaquat Ali and Benazir Bhutto “whose courage and exemplary contributions in public and political life have greatly inspired, built a sense of confidence and empowered the women of Pakistan.”