A STUDY ON THE CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN IN PARLIAMENTS
Pakistan has the constitutional obligation to providing 33% representation of women on reserved seats in the respective assemblies. Yet women participation is not encouraged and their voices are marginalized during decision-making.
Lead Researcher and the moderator in action.
FNF Pakistan and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan collaborated for a research study highlighting the challenges for women legislators’ political participation. In the last two years, women parliamentarians outperformed their male colleagues in most of the reviewed criteria.
The major findings state that female lawmakers are committed to performing their parliamentary duties. However, cultural norms and stereotypes about women are the most significant barriers that not only hinder their entry into politics but also affect their performance.
Women political workers are left out of key decision-making positions in the assemblies and their parties. Biased media reporting focusing on regressive or discriminatory questions about their personal lives rather than their professional contributions becomes a major challenge, discouraging the women lawmakers and shattering their confidence.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”
Shkila Naveed, an MP from Balochistan said that women parliamentarians should be made part of budget making, reviewing and implementation process to bring gender equality and women participation at the core of policy and decision-making level. She further suggested that without improving the manifestation of the political culture of political parties, women’s participation and political voices could not be effectively increased. All the political parties should encourage and promote women-centric inclusive practices within their ranks. Women should be given leading positions and opportunities to represent winnable general seats in the elections along with reserved seats. It would restore women’s confidence as well as inspire many more women to choose politics as a career.