Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) Lahore region organized a provincial level consultative meeting on ‘Effective Women Participation in Local Government’.
Salman Abid, Regional Head SPO Lahore while addressing the consultative meeting stressed the need for development process to be inclusive. This was possible if all groups of people especially women contribute to creating opportunities as per people’s needs, share the benefits of development and participate in local government decision-making.
As per new law, the reduction in women seats in local government is demotivating for women in politics; moreover, it further strengthens male chauvinism in our local system. Such social and political discriminatory practices will cease the inclusive development process, he said.
Muhammed Tehseen, Chief Executive of South Asia Partnership (SAP-PK) expressed that civil society refuses to accept such changes, explaining that effects of this exclusion will deepen inequality across the system. He demanded that Punjab Government should increase women representation in local government elections to ensure gender equity and equality.
Faiza Malik, MPA Punjab/member PPP while speaking at the occasion stated that Pakistan Muslim League (N) has showed their imperialistic school of thought by discouraging women political participation and representation at local government level.
Mumtaz Rafi, executive member PTI also expressed similar sentiments and shared that PTI will support civil society’s charter of demand and will raise voice at all levels.
Punjab Government should prioritize this issue and women should be encouraged to prominent decision making positions, while their significant representation at local government will also make them independent. They should be involved in administrative and budgetary planning to ensure women empowerment and political participation.