Women Legislators Demand Higher Quota in Committee Chairs and Cabinet

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A short course on How to be an effective Legislator focused exclusively on enhancing the capacities of Women Members of the Parliament was organized by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency-PILDAT. The course was held at the Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. This is a unique parliamentary development course for women MNAs and Senators organized by PILDAT. Key speakers included Dr. Nafeesa Shah, MNA and Senior Parliamentarian from PPPP, Ms. Shaista Pervaiz Malik, MNA, Senior Parliamentarian of PML-N and Ms. Munaza Hasan, MNA of PTI and Chairperson of the Women Caucus in the National Assembly

Dr. Nafeesa Shah, while addressing the gathering opined that it is absolutely important that the Members of the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan should be fully aware of the parliamentary tools available to the members for being an effective parliamentarian. Addressing the gathering she further said that the members should carry themselves with grace when they appear on the media. She also added that the quota system for women should be looked into and ways be adopted to give more representation to women and efforts need to be made for main streaming of the women legislators.

Addressing the participants Ms. Shaista Pervez Malik, stressed that keeping in touch with the constituents was essential and an absolute necessity to be a good legislator. She emphasized that the women make it to the parliament on their own and are not dependents on their male relatives or colleagues for advancement in the the parliament.

Ms. Munaza Hasan in her address laid stress on the fact the women are now working on developing their own Constituencies. They are now working on removing the financial constraints to contest election. They are strengthening themselves financially so as to develop their constituencies. She was of the opinion that women should be encouraged to participate in the local governments so as to develop their understanding of the constituencies. Women are playing much better role in the parliament than their male counterparts. Women legislators while debating are much more informed and more civilized than their male colleagues.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, highlighted that for an effective and meaningful representation of women in Parliament, there is a need to focus on the challenges faced by the women MPs and for building their capacities to effectively discharge their responsibilities. He pointed out that despite the increase in the number of women Parliamentarians in Pakistan, many of them do not have any prior political orientation and experience. He introduced a background paper that has been specifically prepared for this training titled “How to be an Effective Legislator”. He gave an overview of the significance of being a legislator, what are the key functions of a legislator and how to perform them effectively. Some important pointers were discussed on how the women parliamentarians can enhance their performance. He concluded his part by proposing important reforms needed in the Parliamentary procedures.

The session was followed by an intense question and answer session by the MNAs and the Senators.

The members of Parliament who participated in the training included the following:

  1. Dr. Seemi Bokhari, MNA
  2. Ms. Shahnaz Saleem Malik, MNA
  3. Ms. Ghazala Saifi, MNA
  4. Ms. Asma Qadeer, MNA
  5. Ms.Nusrat Wahid, MNA
  6. Ms.Nuzhat Pathan, MNA
  7. Ms. Munaza Hasan, MNA
  8. Dr. Nafeesa Shah, MNA
  9. Ms. Shaista Pervaiz Malik, MNA
  10. Ms. Aliya Kamran, MNA
  11. Ms. Syma Nadeem, MNA
  12. Ms. Sobia Kamal Khan, MNA
  13. Ms. Zille-Huma, MNA
  14. Ms. Seemi Ezdi, Senator
  15. Dr. Mahar Taj Roghnai, Senator
  16. Ms. Abida Azeem, Senator
  17. Ms. Romina Alam Khan, MNA
  18. Ms. Fozia Behram, MNA
  19. Prof. Shehnaz Baloch, MNA
  20. Ms. Shugufta Jummani, MNA
  21. Ms. Shams un Nissa, MNA
  22. Ms. Nasiba Chhana, MNA
  23. Ms. Shamim Ara, MNA
  24. Ms. Nusrat Wahid, MNA
  25. Ms. Mussrat Rafiq, MNA
  26. Ms. Uzma Riaz, MNA
  27. Ms. Zahra Wadood Fatimi, MNA
  28. Ms. Ghazala Saifi, MNA
  29. Dr. Saima Matloob, MNA
  30. Dr. Nausheen Hamid, MNA
  31. Ms. Naureen Farooq Ibrahim, MNA
  32. Ms. Shahida Rehmani, MNA
  33. Dr. Shazia Sobia, MNA
  34. Sassi Pulejo, Senator

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