Women MPs actively participate in parliamentary business


The contribution of female parliamentarians to the oversight of the executive by raising questions in the House remained exemplary this year, as they raised more than half of a total 3,339 questions put forward in the National Assembly, according to the NGO Alternative Report on CEDAW 2012.
An average of 22 questions was submitted by every female parliamentarian, almost four times as many as their male counterparts, the report said.
Female parliamentarians have also been active in bringing up private members bills for legislative purposes in the House. Out of 34 private members bills, around 17 of them were submitted by female members, including the only private members bill passed by the assembly this year, the report stated.
More than 28.9 percent members who took part in the debate on budget proposals were women. With a total of 33 female parliamentarians, 44 percent of all female MNAs had taken an active role in these debates.
Female members of the National Assembly accounted for almost half of the parliamentary agenda conducted during the third parliamentary year (2010-2011) of the 13th National Assembly, according to parliamentary records and the FAFEN’s direct proceedings.
They actively participated in parliamentary business and remained more assertive and effective compared to their male counterparts, the report maintained.
It is due to the efforts of female legislators that the Standing Committee on Women Rights, the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus, the law against harassment in the workplace, the law against anti-women practices and the act to establish the National Commission on the Status of Women were passed, the report stated.
Women continued to have 17 percent proportion of reservation through reserved seats in the National Assembly, provincial assemblies and the Senate and they are also posted to key parliamentary positions.
Dr Fehmida Mirza was elected as speaker of the National Assembly and women were also inducted in the federal cabinet. Sherry Rehman was appointed minister of information and broadcasting, with an additional charge of key ministries including the Ministry of Women’s Development and the Ministry of Health and Culture. Federal ministers Shahnaz Wazir Ali and Hina Rabbani Khar were also appointed special assistants to the prime minister.