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The News

Published Date: May 20, 2014

Strengthening of evidence-based policy-making urged

There is
dearth of research evidence on various issues of national concern and
policy think-tanks should rigorously provide research support to
strengthen role of parliamentarians in evidence-based policy-making,
said Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development
Policy Institute.

Dr Suleri was speaking at the third
meeting of SDPI’s Women Parliamentarians Council. More than two dozen
women MPs attended including members of provincial legislatures.

that SDPI research secretariat for women parliamentarians would be
operational very soon, Dr Suleri said that his organisation plans to
extend legislative drafting support to female MPs.

Suleri said that a populace of almost 180 million, regardless of limited
resources at hand is expanding at an alarming rate of 1.8%. He said
that the nation is today locked in an intricate trap of crises starting
from energy to unemployment, gender disparities, economic growth and
security issues. He opined that policy prescriptions to these solutions
often lack evidences and a mismatch of such policies with ground
realities leads to weak implementation. While talking about post-18th
Amendment, he said that some functions were assigned to provincial
ministries, yet the challenge of transition of policy processes from
Federal Government to the provinces is huge for the political
governments in the center and provinces.

The MPs also
discussed the plight of female inmates in prisons and suggested measures
for their economic rehabilitation once they complete their sentence.

enumerated problems faced by women MPs in the Parliament building
including marginalisation 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 meaningful inclusion in
decision-making was fundamental for any constructive and sustainable
democratic change in Pakistan. However, few of them showed satisfaction
on “effectiveness of their role as parliamentarians” and denied any
instances of political marginalisation.

Demanding making
CNIC mandatory for marriage registration, the women MPs emphasised that
registration of divorce should also be made compulsory.

on the occasion, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI, said
that in the Gender Inequality Index, Pakistan Ranks 115 out of 140
countries and in Gender Empowerment Measure of UNDP, Pakistan is placed
at 82 out of 93 countries.

Mome Saleem, senior researcher,
SDPI, discussed the findings of SDPI-AAWAZ research on ‘State of
policies and legislations to curb Violence Against Women (VAW).’ She
said that SDPI believed that Women policy-makers were not only the voice
of general public but a guarantee for gender responsive policy-making.