Roundtable: Reviewing Pakistan’s Constitution from a Woman’s Perspective
Women Parliamentary Caucus, National Assembly of Pakistan
5-6 June 2023, Islamabad
The language of the Constitution must be gender-inclusive to reflect the state’s commitment to gender equality. A resolution should be tabled in the National Assembly on the use of gender-inclusive language in legislation. These were some of the suggestions made at a RT organized by the Women Parliamentary Caucus of the National Assembly attended by more than 50 parliamentarians, academics, lawyers, journalists and rights activists. The Constitution, it was agreed, is a political document. It structures how a state functions and the relationship of the citizen with with state. Article 25 stipulates non-discrimination on the basis of sex, the protection of rights and affirmative measures. Despite its equal provisions, the law is not applied equally and its operationdoes not lead to equitable outcomes. It needs to empower and provide agency to women, and extend non-discrimination to other vulnerable groups. It was agreed that recommendations for more empowering and gender-inclusive language and provisions will given to all political party heads to develop political backing for their implementation. Pakistan is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Constitution in 1973.