KARACHI: Female MPAs were given awards to appreciate their performance in the Sindh Assembly in a ceremony on Tuesday.
The ceremony was organised by the Pakistan Press Foundation in collaboration with Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability- Free And Fair Election Network (TDEA-FAFEN).
From a total of 30 female MPAs out of the 168 members, nine were given awards at the ceremony, which included parliamentarians from different political parties. The legislators were Heer Soho, Rubina Qaimkhani, Rana Ansar, Soorat Thebo, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Naheed Begum, Ghazala Siyal, Aisah Khatoon and Shazia Jawaid.
The awards were given keeping in view a report compiled by TDEA-FAFEN on the representation and activities of women in the assembly.
Sharing details of the report, the manager of research and oversight at TDEA-FAFEN, Shehzad Anwer, said the overall contribution of women members' to the parliamentary agenda from June 2013 to February 2017 was 50%. Meanwhile, despite being more in number than women, the contribution of men stood at 42%.
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"We started compiling these reports in 2009 from the National Assembly and in 2011 from the provincial assemblies," Anwer said, adding that each woman lawmaker, who is 18% of the total membership, contributed 34% of the agenda items on average while men, who are 72% of the membership, contributed only 6% of the agenda items on average.
Sharing some of the statistics in his presentation, Anwer said that of the 1,054 questions raised in the Parliament, more than 700 were by female lawmakers and were mainly relating to health, education, energy, social and excise and taxation issues.
Commenting on the tribute given to the women parliamentarians, Rashdi said the presence of women in the assembly is a symbol of what once was resistance. "We are playing our role and performing more than our male counterparts," she added.
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Sharing how Sindh has the lead in drafting of laws in the country, Qaimkhani said the women have played their part actively and their opinions were taken into account by different provinces while drafting bills.
"We have worked hard and proven ourselves in the House," said Soho, adding that it was usual to hear comments on what female parliamentarians would do in the assembly but these women have proved everyone wrong and the statistics shared by FAFEN are proof of their hard work.