March 21, 2023

By Ahmed Saeed


Speakers emphasized the need for women’s greater participation in the political process to meet the growing economic, environmental, and societal challenges and have said that for better governance it is important that women participate in local government.

The delegates spoke at a convention, “Women Voices of Electoral Reforms, Inclusive Governance, and Climate Mitigation” organized by South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP Pakistan) on Tuesday. The convention included delegations from across Pakistan including the far-flung areas, especially from Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Dr. Shahida Rehmani, PPP MNA and Secretary Women Caucus in the parliament, Shaista Pervaiz Malik, PML-N MNA, Dr. Ammar Jan, Secretary General Haqooq-e-Khalq Party, Aneela Mahud, in-charge of Political Wing Jamaat-e-Islami Lahore, Rubina Jamil, General Secretary All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Khawar Mumtaz, Ex-chairperson NCSW and Mr. Mohammad Tahseen, Director SAP Pakistan, were among notable speakers.


The speakers were of the opinion that electoral reforms had contributed to women’s participation in politics with their greater participation and representation in the parliament, the provincial assemblies, and the local governments. However, they said, a lot more still needed to be done keeping in view the challenges being confronted by the society at large and the women folk in particular.


In her address on the occasion, Dr. Shahida Rehmani said that climate change has impacted women the most keeping in view their responsibilities towards their families. The growing inflation and squeezing income have multiplied the problems of average and poor families in the country and women being the central figure of a family have been made to suffer the most.

Shaista Pervaiz Malik praised the SAP-Pakistan project “Jamhooriat Aur Ba-Ikhtiar Aurat” (Democracy and empowered women). She said the program has contributed to raising political awareness among women all across Pakistan. She said electoral reforms in the past had greatly contributed to increased representation in the elected forums and at the grassroots. She urged the participants to develop a greater understanding of the constitution and laws of the land for awareness about their rights.

Khawar Mumtaz, former chairperson of the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW), in her presidential address congratulated the participants for being part of the political process in the country.  She was of the opinion that no democratic process could be complete without the participation of women in it.

Khawar Mumtaz said that only an inclusive political process can help realize the dreams of a nation. Pakistan needed to do more to include the deprived sections such as transgenders, physically challenged and other weak sections of the society in the process of nation-building, strengthening its diversity and reducing economic disparity among its people.


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