A report on the performance of female parliamentarians during the fourth parliamentary year of the 13th National Assembly
ISLAMABAD, March 7: As the 13th National Assembly completes its fourth parliamentary year, women legislators continued to perform impressively, asserting themselves in their lawmaking and oversight roles, according to a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report on the eve of the International Women’s Day.
Women constitute less than one-quarter (23%) of the National Assembly’s current 334 members – 60 elected on reserved seats and 17 through popular vote. However, they were effective voices of constituents than their male counterparts in the Lower House, which is headed by the country’s first woman speaker.
Overall, women parliamentarians have been active in introducing legislation – single female Members authoring 20 out of the 53 Private Members’ bills that appeared on the Orders of the Day in the fourth parliamentary year. Of the Private Members’ Bills moved by women parliamentarians, 14 were introduced in the House, five not taken up while two were passed.
The female parliamentarians contributed exceptionally to oversight of executive by putting up questions. Out of 2,365 questions raised during the fourth parliamentary year, more than half (1,196 or 51%) were put forward by female Members. On average, 16 questions were submitted by each female MNA, almost four times more than their male counterparts who raised 1,169 questions.
Women legislators were part of 75 of the total 97 Calling Attention Notices either individually or jointly with their male and female colleagues. A closer look at the Calling Attention Notices shows that women parliamentarians are bringing to the floor of the House issues directly affecting the lives of the people. They raised such critical issues like the energy crisis, increase in power tariff, dilapidated condition of national highways, violence against women, draft electoral list, disaster management, and increase in prices of petroleum products.
Out of 1,764 Points of Order raised in the House, the women parliamentarians’ share was 252 or 14 percent. The female legislators representing PPPP raised almost half – (121) – Points of Orders, followed by PMLN and ANP (44 each), PML (24), MQM (13) and MMAP (6).
Female representatives moved 42 Resolutions, either independently or jointly with other female or male colleagues, while their male counterparts sponsored 19. Twenty-five of the Resolutions were moved by single female Members, three were sponsored by multiple female Members and 14 jointly sponsored by male and female Members. Eighteen Resolutions were raised by single male Members while one was sponsored by more than one male Member.
Of 46 Motions under Rule 259 appearing on the Orders of the Day, 20 were sponsored individually by female parliamentarians and 15 were sponsored in collaboration with their other male and female colleagues. Ten Motions were moved by single male Members, while one was jointly moved by more than one male Member.
About FAFEN: FAFEN is a network of 42 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.
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