At the launching ceremony of the Women’s Charter for Gender Equality on Thursday, political parties were asked to ensure greater participation of women in the democratic process.
The event, that was organised by Pattan, was held at a local hotel. While all major political parties were invited, members of MQM, ANP and APML were the only ones who could manage to come.
The charter demands the establishment of mobile courts in remote areas presided over by female judges and the appointment of 25 per cent women in all police stations. There should be one female councillor for every 500 voters in rural areas and 1,000 voters in urban areas, read a suggestion.
In cabinet and national assembly committees and senior government positions at least 25 per cent quota should be reserved for women. Female representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas should be given an opportunity to become members of the National Assembly and Senate with the help of quotas, stated the charter.
Participants expressed concern over the discriminatory attitude adopted by political parties, particularly the lack of women’s representation in the political process. They said that none of the political parties had ever fulfilled their commitment regarding women’s empowerment when in power.
General Secretary of Women Concern Network Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Farhat said 650 polling stations were established in the province, however no woman was able to vote because of conservative attitudes and Talibanisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2013.
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