Awami National Party’s Senior Vice President, Ms. Bushra Gohar, said that the ECP must assert its role and authority. She commended the outgoing assembly for the passage of the Elections Act 2017. “This law will deter instances like the by-election of PK95 in which not a single woman was allowed to vote,” she said. Ms. Aisha Syed of the Jamaat-e-Islami/MMA recommended transparent internal party procedures for nominating women on reserved seats.
“Reservation of seats is an important first step for increasing the number of women legislators. Follow up is needed to trace their actions to effectively represent women’s interests,” recommended Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the NCSW. “The upcoming elections will give important opportunities to experience the impact of legal and administrative reforms to increase women’s political participation,” she said. Ms. Rashida Dohad said, “laws, administrative reforms are important despite the daunting realties faced by women as voters, electoral contestants and legislators.” She said that across-the-board, consistent efforts are needed to ensure affirmative measures result in increasing women’s political participation.
More than 200 rights activists from Abbottabad, Haripur & Mansehra came together with political leaders and the ECP to discuss reforms and realities of women’s political participation at the Peoples Assembly co-hosted by the NCSW and the Foundation.