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March 13, 2015

22pc women beat 78pc men in parliamentary business


March 13, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Apart from education and other walks of life, women are also outperforming men in parliamentary business as the latest study indicates they are ahead of male colleagues in asking questions and pushing legislation on human rights and governance. Male MNAs could only lead in tabling resolutions and talking on point of order.
All but eight women MNAs performed well. Among those who had zero participation is one leading name from PPPP, Faryal Talpur, the sister of ex-President Asif Zardari. The remaining seven are from the ruling party. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Shazia Mubashar, Begum Majeeda Wyne, Iffat Liaqat, Dr. Asma Mamdot, Phyllis Azeem and Reeta Ishwar were zero performers from PML-N.
Although under-represented in number, women are over-represented in serious parliamentary business when compared with their male colleagues. Female lawmakers form only 22 percent of the National Assembly but have “accounted for nearly half of the parliamentary business,” according to a performance report of Free and Fair Elections Network (Fafen) that examined their role between June 2014 and February 2015 during which eight sessions were held. There are 69 women in the NA. Eight of them were elected on general seats; 60 females made their ways through reserved seats and one on reserved seat for non-Muslims.
Naeema Khawar Khan of JUI-F was the top performer in sponsoring private members’ bills. Shazia Marri of PPP led the women in executive oversight through calling attention notices. Aisha Syed of JI ranked first as the question shooter by submitting 110 questions in eight sessions under consideration.
A break-up of participation in parliamentary business has found that as many as 20 private members’ bills were introduced. Seven of them were tabled by women, three by men and 10 jointly submitted by men and women both.
Out of 61 calling attention notices aimed at bringing under spotlight bad governance, 21 came from women, 12 from men whereas 28

were jointly submitted. As many as 2,155 questions were asked from different ministries through assembly secretariat; 1,135 of them by 22 percent members (women) and 1,020 by 78 percent lawmakers (men) in eight sessions under examination.
Men could only lead in point of orders and resolutions. Male MNAs raised 551 points of orders and women 62. Out of 53 resolutions, 20 were tabled by men and 17 by women MNAs while 16 were jointly submitted.
If the private members bill is any guide, female MNAs largely focused on human rights and governance. Not a single PML-N woman featured in top-10 performers with regard to the submission of private bills.
While Naeema Kishar Khan of JUI-F led in this race, she was followed by Dr. Nikhat Shakeel (MQM), Shahida Akhtar Ali (JUI-F), Aisha Syed (JI), Nafisa Shah (PPPP), Kishwer Zehra (MQM), Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho (PPPP), Asiya Nasir (JUI-F), Dr. Shireen Mazari (PTI) and Belum Hasnain (PPPP).
The PML-N women have considerable representation in the calling attention notices. Although Shazia Marri (PPPP) topped the list, she was followed by Asiya Naz Tanoli (PML-N), Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho (PPPP), Nighat Parveen (PML-N), Khalida Mansoor (PML-N), Nafisa Shah (PPPP), Naeema Kishwar (JUI-F), Aasiya Nasir (JUI-F), Shaista Pervaiz (PML-N) and Tahira Aurangzeb (PML-N).
The ruling party’s representation in top-ten question-shooter female MNAs was also significant as 50 percent.of them belongs to the PML-N. Aisha Syed of JI topped in this category and was followed by Khalida Mansoor (PML-N), Asyia Naz Tanoli (PML-N), Shahida Rehmani (PPPP), Belum Hasnain (PPPP), Shakila Luqman (PML-N), Nighat Parveen (PML-N), Shazia Marri (PPPP), Shaista Pervaiz (PML-N) and Nafisa Khattak.

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