Political Inclusion of Women and OthersFair Elections, Open Parliament and Good Governance
FAFEN was the first civil society network, that spearheaded efforts to identify and overcome barriers to the inclusion of women and other marginalized groups in the political process. Through a range of actions such as reducing the gender gap in the electoral rolls, empowering women and other underrepresented groups, advocating for gender-sensitive laws and regulations, and creating new platforms for women and marginalized groups-led organizations, FAFEN has brought about truly inclusive processes. As a result of its efforts, women and other marginalized groups have been able to meaningfully participate in the political process and advocate for their interests.
Before the 2008 and 2013 General Assembly elections, FAFEN indicated a gender gap in the electoral rolls published by ECP that has been reduced from 12.17 million in 2017 to 11.30 million in 2022. However, the issue is deep-rooted and requires extraordinary institutional, political, and civil society efforts to address it on a sustainable basis. FAFEN also focuses on improving the political mainstreaming of women representatives on reserved seats in national and provincial legislatures for them to advance their agenda within their respective political parties and effectively introduce parliamentary interventions in the legislatures.
In 2017, FAFEN experience helped 15 civil society organizations led by and working for the rights of women, PWDs, and transgender persons to unify their efforts under the banner of the Coalition for Inclusive Pakistan (CIP), to increase their inclusiveness and capacities in civil society’s oversight of electoral activities. CIP has now expanded and more than 200 CSOs led by women, PWDs, and transgender persons are part of this network. (https://cip.tdea.pk/)
Later in 2017, FAFEN member organizations contributed towards building women’s agency to demand and advocate for their increased enjoyment of rights and improved working environment by women workers in Pakistan, TDEA successfully organized women workers into cross-sectoral Women’s Workers Alliance (WWA) with horizontal and vertical structures. More than 3,000 women are part of these alliances in more than 30 districts across Pakistan. (https://www.wwa-pakistan.org/)
Over the years, FAFEN has:
Identified and listed more than 1.8 million unregistered women and facilitated 1.5 million women to get NICs and register to vote.
CIP deployed women, PWDs, and transgender long-term and election-day observers to observe the 2018 General Elections to make them more inclusive and accessible.
Supported the registration of Punjab and Balochistan WWAs as the first-ever all-women trade unions with provincial labor departments.
Analyzed federal and provincial legislations and proposed amendments for the rights commissions to have administrative and financial autonomy to effectively deliver on their legal mandate