Thursday December 07, 2023

Call to increase women’s seats in Local Government polls

By Our Correspondent
December 13, 2020

LAHORE : Speakers in a programme, to create awareness about gender-based violence importantly as human rights issue, demanded increase in number of seats for women in the local government elections of Punjab.

“Campaigns are aimed at raising awareness about gender-based violence importantly as human rights issue,” said Asma Aamir, programme coordinator, while addressing a ceremony organised by an NGO. Sangat believes that political and social activists can play their role in ending the violence. Political participation and decision-making by women will have impact on the policy reforms.

Key stakeholders, including Imran Javaid Qureshi, Senior Legal Executive Punjab Commission on the Status of Women; Uzma Kardar, Chairperson Standing Committee Gender Mainstreaming (Women Development), Tauqir Iqbal of Election Commission of Pakistan Lahore, Sadia Sohail Rana, PTI MPA, Dr Shehla Javaid Akram, founder WCCI, Lahore, Kanwal Naseem, former MPA PML-Q, political representatives Sumaria Abid, PTI and Azhar Iqbal, JI, were the key speakers.

Former women councillors, women potential candidates for forthcoming local government elections, CSOs, social worker, youth, political parties’ representatives, social worker, political workers and media participated in the event.

During the ceremony, it was reiterated to devise actions to address and mitigate challenges faced by women in the political process. These actions included women NIC and voter registration and increase of seats for women in the local government elections of Punjab.

All the political parties must take responsibility to advocate for 5pc quota for women in general seats in all election such as local governments, national and provincial assembly, per diem/honorarium to the candidates of local government system, uniform age requirement of 21 years in Punjab, KP, Sindh and Balochistan. This will play instrumental role in allowing maximum women to contest for the elections, especially young women. Today, although the voices of activists and survivors have reached a climax that cannot be silenced or ignored, ending violence against women will require more investment, leadership and action. It cannot be sidelined; it must be part of every country’s national response, especially during the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic.

To further strengthen the political participation of women and to acknowledge the efforts of current political activists, stakeholders joined hands to start activism for the uniformity in age brackets for the candidates from Punjab for next local government elections. Women participants were awarded with honorary shields and souvenirs as a token of participation for participating in the women’s rights movement.