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Women MPs asked to play active role for pro-women legislation

  • Tuesday, 20th May 2014
  • Pakistan Observer
  • Islamabad
515

Pakistan is facing a systemic problem of violence against women, and parliamentarians irrespective of their political affiliations should work for pro-women legislation. This was the consensus point of more than two dozen women parliamentarians present in the third meeting of Women Parliamentarians Council (WPC), a forum of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

Stressing the need for making CNIC compulsory for marriage registration, the women MPs demanded that registration of divorce should also be made compulsory. The MPs, highlighting the plight of women in prisons, suggested measures for their economic rehabilitation once they complete their sentence.

They criticized the discriminatory treatment meted out to women parliamentarians, who come to assemblies on reserved seats. The women MPs discussed in detail the problems faced by them in parliament, including marginalization in decision-making, lack of research support, gender discrimination, and inequality in political process.

They were of the view that women’s political empowerment and their meaningful inclusion in decision-making was fundamental for any constructive and sustainable democratic change in Pakistan. However, a few of them showed satisfaction on the effectiveness of their role as parliamentarians, and denied any instances of political marginalization. Earlier, in his opening remarks, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director of SDPI, said there was a dearth of research evidence on various issues of national concern and policy think-tanks should rigorously provide research support to parliamentarians so as to strengthen their role in evidence based policy making. "SDPI is not only committed to providing research support to the women parliamentarians but also plans to extend legislative drafting support to them", added Dr Suleri.

The meeting was attended by MNA Arifa Khalid, MNA Romina Khusheed Alam, MNA Shahida Akhtar, MNA Naeema Kishwar Khan, MNA Musarat Ahmedzeb, Senator Robina Khalid, MNA Dr. Shahida Rehmani, MNA Anita Khalid, MNA Shmas ul Nisa, MNA Aisha, Senator Farah Aqil, MNA Suriya Jatoi. Also members of Punjab Assembly Suraya Naseem, Lubna Rehan, Tamkeen Akhter, Niazi & members of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Assembly Maliha Khan and Nagina Khan.

Naghma Imdad from DAI and Ambreen Ajaib from SPO were also present. The women parliamentarians lauded the SDPI’s role in policy advocacy. Ambassador (R) Shafqat Kakakhel, the Chairperson of Board of Governors of SDPI, presented the vote of thanks.

Source: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=241985