Politicians criticized for ignoring women on reserved seats

Peshawar

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on Status of Women (KPCSW) has criticized the leaders of mainstream political parties for putting up of women mostly ignorant to their issues and problems against reserved seats for the upcoming general election.
The women caucus has expressed concern regarding approach of political parties in respect of nomination of female members on reserved and general seats.
Chairperson KPCSW, Neelum Toru in a letter addressed to the Provincial Election Commissioner Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has expressed concern over the manner in which political parties across the board had selected women candidates for reserved seats as well as the five percent quota for women for the forthcoming general election 2018.
She was of the view that by giving political parties complete discretion over process of nomination and selection of women candidates without reference to any criteria to ensure merit or geographic representation, the principle of fair representation and voice is compromised. She said transparency in merit-based selection and prioritization of women candidates in party lists is a must.
“Transparency and induction also dictate that political party parliamentary boards must have women’s representatives, who are trusted and senior colleagues whose decisions are acceptable to all, she wrote.
“Oftentimes, those who were included in the boards were often themselves contenders for reserved seats, thereby, having conflict of interest. Furthermore, many women have little or no knowledge of women’s issues. It would be best if those who represent women on such boards have a clean track record and solid record of working on women’s issues,” she maintained.
The Chairperson KPCSW suggested that political parties should scrutinize everyone’s performance and ensure fair allocation of nominations for the provincial and national assembly seats.
She expressed the hope that Election Commission of Pakistan would take possible measures for redressing the concerns of KPCSW.—APP

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