Islamabad: Women Parliamentarians and Party Leaders from across political parties, agreed to build consensus among their respective political parties to provide a minimum of 10 per cent quota for women on winnable seats before the next elections.
This was stated in the Declaration issued by the Women Parliamentary Caucus on the one day Roundtable Conference “Strengthening Women’s Representation in Political and Legislative Process” on 29th September to initiate a dialogue with political parties on the different ways to strengthening women’s representation in legislative assemblies.
The Chief Guest, Hon. Deputy Chairman Senate, Mir Jan M Jamali, in his address highlighted the meaningful role women have played in the legislative business. He strongly admitted the nexus between sustainable development and the role of women at the political and decision making, and strongly recommended the need to give a minimum of 33 percent women’s representation in the legislative assemblies.
MNA Nafisa Shah and Secretary WPC, in her opening remarks referred to the outstanding and proactive performance of the women legislators in legislative business in the recent years and recognized the Speaker Fehmida Mirza’s role, and recommended that the political parties to review the existing special measures for women’s participation in the legislatures making it more transparent, effective, and empowering for women in politics.
The parties represented were PPP, PML N, ANP, PMLQ, MQM, PPP(Sherpao), BNP, PML(F).
Senior office bearers of parliamentary political parties and members of the National and all four Provincial Assemblies which included MNA Yasmeen Rehman, Secretary General ANP, Ehsan Wyne, MNA Bushra Gauhar, MNA Asiya Nasir, MNA Tasneem Siddiqui, Women Wing President PMLQ Farrukh Khan, MNA Ehsan Iqbal, MNA Nushat Sadiq, MNA Ghazala Gola Women Minister Balochistan, Deputy Speaker AJK, Senator Saeeda Iqbal, Senator Farah Aqil, Shaheen Dar, Shama Mithani MPA, MPA Nargis Faiz, MPAs from Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK, participated in the dialogue and explored ways.
The Parliamentarians across party lines committed further to protect and preserve the provision of reserved seats for women in the National Assembly, Senate and the Provincial Assemblies, and further committed to enhancing and strengthening women’s representation in legislatures by working within our respective political parties to increase women’s representation at all levels of decision making in the political forums.
We, the Women Parliamentarians Members of Provincial Assemblies of Balochistan, Khyber – Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and representatives of political parties, participating in the one day Roundtable Conference on the “Strengthening Women’s Representation in Political and Legislative Process”, organized by the Women Parliamentary Caucus held in Islamabad on Thursday, September 29th 2011, hereby adopt the following Declaration on this day of the September 29th 2011:
The Constitution of Pakistan provides women equal rights, rejects all forms of discrimination and promotes their full participation in public life under Articles 25, 34, 35 and 37.
Further Recalling that:
The National and International Commitments of Government of Pakistan including the National Policy for the Development and Empowerment of Women (NPDEW) 2002, Convention on Elimination of All kinds of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), underscore attainment equal opportunities for women in the public and political spheres as inextricably linked to human rights, democracy and inclusive sustainable development and human security.
Paying tribute to:
All the women leaders of Pakistan particularly Fatima Jinnah, Rana Liaquat Ali and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto whose courage and exemplary contributions in public and political life have greatly inspired, built a sense of confidence and empowered the women of Pakistan.
The 17 per cent reservation for women in the assemblies and 17 seats in the Senate provided for in Articles 51 and 59 of the Constitution is a significant step in empowerment of women in politics;
the outstanding performance of the Women Parliamentarians and members of the provincial assemblies in the legislative business in the recent years demonstrates and recognizes the meaningful role of women in legislatures and has further strengthened democracy in Pakistan,
We, Women Parliamentarians and political party representatives in this Roundtable Conference, resolve the following:
Commit to protect and preserve the provision of reserved seats for women in the National Assembly, Senate and the Provincial Assemblies;
Further commit to enhancing and strengthening women’s representation in legislatures by working within our respective political parties and elected representatives and examining how the systems of elections to the reserved seats could be made more democratic and transparent; And that women are represented at all levels of decision-making in political forums;
Build consensus among the political parties to amend the Political Parties Act so as to provide mandatory quota of 10 per cent of winnable general seats to women to mainstream them in electoral processes before the next elections.
For more information, contact:
Karamat Hussain Niazi
National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 922 1082 -83
Fax: +9251 922 1106