Published Date: May 20, 2014
Women MPs asked to play active role for pro-women legislation
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