Islamabad, March 4; A PILDAT analysis of Private Members’ Bills moved during the second year (March 17, 2009 – March 16, 2010) of the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan indicates that Women Parliamentarians have been the most active legislators during the year. Total 58 Private Member’s Bills were submitted during the year out of which 48 were introduced in the National Assembly for consideration. 26 of these bills were moved by single members while the remaining 12 bills were jointly moved or co-sponsored by more than 1 member. Out of the 26 single member’s Bills, 22 or 85 % were introduced by women parliamentarians all of whom were returned on reserved seats for women.
Maximum number of single private bills – six (6) – was moved by Justice (Retd.) Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar (NA-295, Punjab-XXIII, PPPP) followed by Ms. Shireen Arshad Kan (NA-283, Punjab-XI, PML-N) who moved 4 bills. At the third position three women legislators – Dr. Donya Aziz (NA-304, Punjab-XXXII, PML), Dr. Attiya Inayatullah (NA-305, Punjab-XXXIII, PML) and Mrs. Khalida Mansoor (NA-279, Punjab-VII, PML-N) – moved two (2) bills each. No male member alone moved more than one bill.
Women MPs were also leading in the jointly moved bills. Dr. Donya Aziz was co-sponsor of 6 bills followed by Ms. Marvi Memon, (NA-307, Punjab-XXXV, PML), Mrs. Shamshad Sattar Bachani, (NA 223 Hyderabad VI, Sindh, PPPP) and Mrs. Yasmeen Rehman (NA-298, Punjab-XXVI, PPPP) who co-sponsored five (5) bills each.
Three women and two men co-sponsored four (4) bills each and these included Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho (NA-213 Nawabshah I, Sindh, PPPP), Mrs. Belum Hasnain (NA-292, Punjab-XX, PPPP), Mrs. Shakeela Khanum Rashid (NA-297, Punjab-XXV, PPPP), Sheikh Waqas Akram (NA-89, Jhang-IV, Punjab, PML) and Mr. Hamayun Saifullah Khan (NA-27, Lakki Marwat, NWFP, PML).
Overall, Dr. Donya Aziz is the top mover of the Private Members Bills with Eight (8) Bills moved singly or jointly during the second year followed by Justice (Retd.) Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar and Ms. Marvi Memon both of whom moved or co-sponsored 6 bills each. Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Mrs. Shamshad Sattar Bachani, Mrs. Yasmeen Rehman and Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada (NA-186, Bahawalpur-IV, Punjab, PML) moved or co-sponsored five (5) bills each.
In a House of 342 members, only 43 or 13 % members either moved an individual Private Member’s Bill or Co-sponsored one. Out of these 43 most active legislators, 26 or 60 % are Women Parliamentarians. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8 this year, Pakistani Legislators can also rightly celebrate their legislative activism.