Female Forward International
Women drive politics
Half of the world’s population are women and we have come a long way towards gender parity over the last 100 years. Still the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 (https://www.weforum.org/reports/gender-gap-2020-report-100-years-pay-equality ) forecasts that it will take another 95 years until full gender equality is achieved. One of the crucial factors in this is the political participation of women. Since politics is a driving factor for social developments, women political participation is much more than just one aspect of society, where gender equality needs to be achieved. Politics is THE enabler (or break for that matter) for positive change in many aspects of life, be it education, health, business or science. It is quite revealing that particularly in politics, the gender gap has been hard to close.
On the oath-taking day, some media persons asked me how much my bag cost. They asked another woman about from where she gets her makeup done. Why don`t they ask men the same questions that they were asking women legislators?
What are the conditions that make it so hard for women to play a major role in political decision-making despite the extensive international and national gender policy frameworks? FNF Pakistan and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) have commissioned a study on the performance of women legislators in Pakistan from 2018-2020. Find out, what the realities on the ground are and how women politicians deal with them.
Women Legislators` Political Participation in Pakistan 2018-20
This report by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (supported by FNF Pakistan) aims to assess women legislators’ political participation in Pakistan, for the first two parliamentary years (2018-2020) of the current National & Provincial Assemblies (2018-2023) with primary focus on the functions of legislation and oversight (from all political parties). It uses qualitative and quantitative data generated through perception surveys, secondary research, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and statistical analysis of data available on Assembly websites.
Women play a vital role in Pakistan’s assemblies to promote legislative and policy framework that supports gender-equality. The study has observed that while female legislators fully participate and are committed to performing their parliamentary duties, legal and cultural factors hinder their performance and growth. Discriminatory social norms, a biased assembly system, limited research and financial support as well as limited capacity building opportunities, make it difficult for female parliamentarians to effectively perform their functions of oversight and legislation.
This study emphasizes that there is a dire need for affirmative action to boost women’s political voice and enhance their role in parliamentary affairs. While it is true that once women join the parliament, they try to understand the system and learn from experience, it is also true that formal training and support from political parties and government organizations is required to enhance their participation and performance in legislative work.