Girl power: ‘Fundamental rights must be protected for gender equality’

Women caucus convener says it is important for women to participate in decision-making


Our Correspondent December 28, 2016
PHOTO:EXPRESS

LAHORE: To ensure gender equality, it is essential to protect women’s fundamental rights and eliminate social injustice. These views were stated by Punjab Assembly Women Caucus convener Kanwal Nauman on Wednesday.

At a workshop titled Role and Achievements of Women Caucuses for Pro Women Legislative and Policy Reforms, organised by the Aurat Foundation and Westminster Foundation for Democracy, she said it is essential to enhance women’s participation in decision making.

Standing Committee on Gender Mainstreaming Chairperson Raheela Khadim Hussain said women caucuses should oversee the implementation of the law and highlight gender gaps related to violence and socioeconomic empowerment.

Speaking on the occasion, Westminster Foundation for Democracy country representative said her organisation is committed to strengthening parliamentary performance by raising awareness on post-devolution roles and responsibilities of lawmakers.

He highlighted the importance of a provincial-federal parliamentary relationship to understand procedures.

MNA Shaza Fatima Khawja said creating women and youth caucuses on the federal level helped develop a pro-women legislative framework. She underlined the importance of caucuses in strengthening democracy and democratic institutions.

She said the women caucus is focusing on entrepreneurship, skill development and job creation in the upcoming China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Nusrat Sahar Abbasi, an MPA from the Sindh Assembly, highlighted the achievements by the provincial legislature. She said women fought hard for their space in the political arena. Abbasi added it was important to create interprovincial links between women MPAs.

Punjab Assembly Senior Secretary Rai Mumtaz Hussain Babar said the assembly secretariat is providing research and legislative services to its members and vowed to support the women caucus. He appreciated the role of female MPAs in house proceedings. He pointed out that out of 36 private member bills, 16 were moved by women MPAs. Out of 149 resolutions, 46 were moved by the women of the house.

Aurat Foundation Resident Director Mumtaz Mughal said WAF shall provide technical assistance and support for the strategic vision of the women caucus. She stressed on the importance of the body’s role in social development, women empowerment, protection and economic justice.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2016.

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