Parliamentarians, members of civil society and women rights activists have urged all the political parties to ensure effective implementation of 5pc quota in awarding party tickets to women on general seats in the upcoming general elections 2018 in accordance with Elections Act 2017.
They were speaking at a consultation on “Making Gender Quota Meaningful” organised by the Heinrich Boell Stiftung here on Thursday.
Sharing his views on the occasion, Senator Musaddaq Malik of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said women represented 50pc of the country’s population and 5pc quota for their participation on general seats in the upcoming election was quite insufficient and unfair and could not adequately represent that huge chunk of population. However, he said women quota could be raised through a democratic process.
Senator Shibli Faraz of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said there were different cultural and social barriers that were a big hurdle for women to participate in elections on general seats. He gave example of Kohistan, Kala Dhaka and Dir in his province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where representation of women on general seats was almost non-existent. In those areas such quota system for women almost fails to deliver.
Senator Sitara Ayaz of Awami National Party (ANP) said her party had in fact called for 10pc quota of women on general seats as women representation was of key importance in addressing the issues being faced by women countrywide.
Senator Mustafa Khokar of PPP said rationale behind quota system was to create an enabling environment. In the beginning it was meant for generating jobs.