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Women’s meaningful participation needed in democratic process : Kanwal Nauman

Lahore : Convener Women Parliamentary Caucus of Punjab Assembly, Ms. Kanwal Nauman said that to ensure gender equality, protection of fundamental rights for women and eliminate social injustice on sustainable grounds, it would be mandatory to enhance women’s meaningful participation in democratic process and decision making. She said it while addressing at Experience Workshop on “Role and achievements of Women Caucuses for pro women  legislative and policy reforms” organized by Aurat Foundation and Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

Chairperson Standing Committee on Gender Mainstreaming, Ms. Raheela Khadim Hussain appreciated civil society efforts to build the capacity of women parliamentary caucus to raise women’s concerns and mainstream gender in the assembly business. She stressed that women caucus should play their role to oversee the implementation of laws and should also highlight the gender gaps related to violence and socio economic empowerment of the citizens.

Speaking on the occasion, Ali Imran, Country Representative Westminster Foundation for Democracy said that the Foundation is committed to strengthen the parliamentary performances through awareness on post-devolution roles and responsibilities of honorable parliamentarians. He also highlighted the need and importance of provincial-federal parliamentary relationship and understanding of parliamentary procedures.

Member National Assembly, Ms. Shaza Fatima Khawaja said that creation of women and youth caucuses at federal level has helped in developing pro-women legislative framework. She highlighted the importance of caucuses in strengthening democracy and democratic institution. She said that women caucus at federal level is focusing on women entrepreneurship, skill development and job creation for women in CPEC.

Nusrat Sahar Abbasi, MPA from Sindh Assembly highlighted the achievements by Sindh Assembly and said that woman has worked hard to recognize their space in political arena. She also said that it is very important to create inter-provincial linkages between women parliamentarian to learn from best practice.

Shameela Aslam, General Secretary Caucuses said that there are a number of legislations have been passed so her major focus shall be to ensure implementation of pro-women legislation.

Senior Secretary Punjab Assembly Rai Mumtaz Hussain Babar said that the assembly secretariat is providing research and legislative services to its members and vows to provide his support for women caucus. He appreciated role of women members in assembly business and highlight that out of 36 private member bills, 16 are moved by women MPs. Moreover, out of 149 resolutions, 46 have been moved by women MPs.

Ex. Convener Women Parliamentary Caucus, Dr. Farzana Nazeer  congratulated to new caucus and has high hope to push the women legislative agenda of i.e. Implementation of Women Protection Act 2016, Domestic Worker Policy and Law, Enactment of Acid throwing Act 2010, Home Based Worker Policy and Law, Amendments in  The Punjab Child Marriage Restraint Act 2015 (increase the age of girl marriage), Efforts to increase Women Participation in Sports, Efforts for establishment of health club through budgetary allocation, Trainings i.e. communication skills, IT training and Inter provincial women parliamentarian exposure visits.

The session was attended by over 100 parliamentarians, CSOs activists, government institutions and media personnel including MPAs Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Sadia Sohail, Nabeela Hakim, Tehseen Fawad, Gulnaz Shahzadi, Nighat Sheikh, Zebunisa, Farzan Butt, Lubna Faisal, Shah Jahan, Salma Butt, Shahzadi Shamim, Rukhsana Kaukab and others. Speaking on the occasion, participants highlight the importance of role of assembly in implementation of laws, strengthening the coordination among departments and enhancing the monitoring mechanisms.

Ms. Mumtaz Mughal Resident Director Aurat Foundation said that the Foundation shall provide technical assistance and support for strategic visioning of women caucus and providing legal backup to the women caucus, itself. She stressed the need of role of women caucus in social development, women empowerment, protection and economic justice.

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