Speakers ask the govt to give proportional representation to women in local govt

Peshawar: Speakers at a daylong seminar have urged the government to give proportional representation to women in local government and eradicate discriminatory attitude in releasing of developmental funds to the elected representatives so that women could also play effective role for well being of the people.

The seminar titled “women’s participation, media role in local government elections” was organized by Journalists Welfare Safety and Development Foundation (JWSDF) in collaboration with Strengthening Participatory Organization and Peshawar Press Club on Saturday.

Those who spoke on the occasion include Jamaat-i-Islami Provincial Secretary Information, former Town-II Nazim Israr Ullah advocate, Pakistan People’s party leader and MPA Nighat Orakzai, Pakistan Muslim League-Q provincial President Intikhab Khan Chamkani Advocate, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s provincial leader Farzana Zain, Insaf Lawyers’ wing representative Shamim Sabra Advocate, PTI youth wing provincial President Aasia Khattak and JWSDF’ Chairman Ali Hazrat Bacha.

Mr Israrullah Advocate informed in detail about the background of local government bodies, negative impacts of the military regimes on democratic institutions, salient features of the Local Govt Act 2013 and his party’s reservations on some points in it.

He said that without local government democracy was incomplete and more than 90 percent issues of the society were related to local government. Local government, he added had introduced in martial law regime but unfortunately democratic government were afraid of local government system and not interested to hold the elections because of transferring autonomy to local representatives.

He maintained that in 2002 LG polls were held during the government of former President (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf, then in 2008 general election democratic government formed in the country but politicians were less interested to hold the LG elections and had used delaying tactics in this regard.

The JI leader said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act2013 would be a role model for the entire region because 30 percent developmental funds would be used by local representatives to bring the backward areas at par with the developed ones.

He expressed the hope that LG polls would be held in November this year in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On the occasion Intikhab Khan Chamkani also stressed the need that women should be given due status in the local government elections as they could play effective role in solution to the problems. He said that in our society women’s vote was not taken serious and that was why most of the female could not cast their votes due to non-availability of computerized national identity card. He suggested that there should be a body on local level to address the women issues. He said political government did not want to transfer developmental funds to local government while local administration better knows the using of developmental funds.

PPP women leader and MPA Nighat Orakzai was more critical of the dominated role of men and said that there was a mindset that wanted to confine women to sewing machine, indoor activities and domestic affairs in order to keep them away from politics and other daily affairs despite the fact that women had 52 percent of the total population.

She said that rulers always adopted discriminatory attitude towards the women and had nominated relatives and blue-eyed people on the reserved seats in the assemblies. She said women could play pivotal role in uplift of the country and progress of the nation if they were given chances.

PTI leader Farzana Zain said that 50 percent seats should be given to women in local bodies’ representation and distribute the developmental funds equally without any gender discrimination, adding district nazim should be a female because a woman could address the society’s issues bitterly.

She said that women were more laborious to focus on making better legislation because they were well aware of society issues.

Shamim Sabra Advocate and Aasia Khattak advocate threw light on the role of working women, saying they performed their duties in the society more responsibly but unfortunately they were ignored. They said that women were more aware of the real issues and they could work honestly if given chances.

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