Female politicians demand timely Local Govt polls

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There should be continuity in local government elections and govt should draft or pass new law as early as possible so that local government elections could be held timely; these views were expressed by women politicians of different political parties hailing from various districts of Punjab in an event organised by Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE) on “Local Government in Punjab, Challenges and Way Forward” at a local hotel in City on Monday.

Women politicians including Zubaida from Khanewal, Kainat MaliK from Rajanpur, Badr un Nisa from Okara, Nasim Bano from Lahore, Sabira Ismat and Rani Shamim from Nankana Sahib took part in the event.

Bushra Khaliq Executive Director (WISE) said that women made their way in politics after hard struggle and severe challenges. She said, “Local government is the third tier of democracy and democracy cannot be stronger in the absence of local government bodies as leadership emerges from here. She said that unfortunately local government elections have not been held for the last five years. She shared that the Ordinance of Local Government 2021 will expire on June 9. She questioned why the new government did not draft new laws and pack up the old ones.

She said the system must be continued and should not be disrupted with the changing of government. There should be amendments in local government laws and the third tier of democracy should not be disrupted at any cost, said Bushra.

She demanded ample representation of women, peasants, youth, transgender and minority in local government bodies. She demanded a 50 percent increase of reserved seats for women. Women politicians gave many suggestions on the occasion that there should be safe and sound space in offices for female councilors in every union council and district council.

Kainat Malik from Rajanpur suggested that elected women representatives including councilors, chairpersons and vice-chairpersons should be given honorarium and vehicles so that they could move with more grace and respect.

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