4 of 22 women MPAs started political career as grassroots reps

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PESHAWAR: At least four of the 22 women elected recently to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on the reserved seats had launched their political careers as district council members.
The newly elected women lawmakers in separate chats with The News expressed the determination to work for resolving the issues being faced by the women.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Rabia Basri started her political career in 2002 as a councillor in the local government. Later, she joined the PTI and worked as the party’s Women Wing president in 2012.

The MPA told The News she was keen on working for the betterment of the women and the physically challenged people. She said the improvement in the education and health facilities was her ambition as women were deprived of health and education facilities in different areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Another, PTI MPA, Dr Asia Asad, had started her political career in 2015 as a member of the District Council Peshawar. She served as Standing Committee chairperson of various Mother, Child and Healthcare committees in the Peshawar district government.

Dr Asia Asad said her focus would be the primary healthcare system. She said she would try to solve the problems of the doctor community as well as being a doctor she was in the know of the issues faced by the medical community.

Awami National Party (ANP) MPA Shagufta Malik had started her political career in 2005 as member District Council Peshawar. Later, she was elected MPA on the ANP ticket in the 2008 general elections for the first time and again to this assembly.

The MPA said she would like to take up issues facing the women. Shagufta Malik recalled that she succeeded in getting fixed 30 percent share for the women in the Bacha Khan Rozgar Scheme during the ANP rule and set up vocational and computer centres for women.

She has worked as Standing Committee member of various departments, including Sports, Culture, Tourism, Archeology and Youth Affairs, Planning and Development and Excise and Taxation departments.

Shagufta Malik also contested the Senate election but could not make it to the upper house of the Parliament. She had received 32 votes and missed the opportunity of becoming a senator by two votes.

Currently serving as the ANP provincial general secretary, Shagufta Malik said she would introduce legislation to check trafficking and violence against the women.

She said it was the responsibility of elected women MPAs to play an active role in the betterment of the women.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) MPA Humaira Khatoon has an affiliation with the Jamaat-e-Islami. She has been elected as an MPA for the first time on the reserved seat.

Humaira Khatoon started her political career in 2010 as a member of District Council Peshawar. She was re-elected as a councillor in 2015.

The MPA said she would make efforts for the welfare of the women as they were always at a disadvantaged position due to prevalent social norms.

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