Experts call for empowering women political leaders in Pakistan

Karachi: The development, political empowerment and leadership for women politicians must be ensured by the government while all political parties should make it a part of their political manifestos, said women parliamentarians and experts at a women’s leadership forum held here Thursday.

Women’s Leadership Forum was jointly organized by Search for Common Ground Pakistan and Insan Foundation Trust to mark the International Women’s Day, March 8 with foreground celebrations on the achievements of women leaders, especially from the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KP, Balochistan, Sind and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas FATA.

Among participating women political leaders, Raheela Khadim Hussain, MPA – PMLN, Saima Aziz, MPAPMLN, Nasim Nasir Khwaja, MPAPMLN, Sajida Mir, MPAPPP, Munir Alam , Aspiring Leader – PMLN, Summara Khan, Aspiring Leader – PPP, Amna Zaidi, Aspiring Leader – PPP, Kehkashan Ijaz, Aspiring Leader PMLQ, Sabrina Javed, Aspiring Leader PTI, Ghazala Gola, Minister Social Welfare and Women Development MPAPPP, Nasreen Rehman Khetran, MPAPMLQ, Shahida Rauf, MPAMMA, Rukhsana Ahmad, Aspiring Leader PTI, Nausheen Naz, Aspiring Leader PPP, Jamila Baloch, Aspiring Leader BNP; Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, Political Analyst; Ammara Durrani, Country Director SFCG Pakistan; and Kishwar Sultana, Director Insaan Foundation Trust spoke on the occasion.

“Women Parliamentarians need to connect with women bureaucrats and common women of the country to establish strong communication networking among themselves,” said Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa during her keynote address. “They should talk about women’s security issues in parliament and political parties should have research wings and think tanks working with them round the clock.”

“Women’s political empowerment is fundamental and their socio-political leadership is inevitable,” said SFCG Pakistan Country Director, Ammara Durrani in her remarks. “It is hard to imagine a constructive and sustainable democratic change in Pakistan unless women are included in decision-making processes at all levels of governance.”

Ammara Durrani also launched the nationwide campaign entitled “Women’s Initiative for Learning and Leadership WILL” on the occasion.

The Women’s Leadership Forum was held as part of SFCG-Pakistan’s national “Strengthening Women Parliamentarians for Effective Government” project working with current and aspiring women political leaders at provincial and district levels, as well as providing guidelines to media for engaging with audiences on specific issues identified by women parliamentarians.