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Asia Governance Learning Event Kathmandu June 10 th -13 th 2013. Advocacy for women’s political participation and its impact on governance By Arifa Mazhar . Agenda of discussion. Women’s political participation at local and National level

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asia governance learning event kathmandu june 10 th 13 th 2013

Asia Governance Learning EventKathmandu June 10th-13th 2013

Advocacy for women’s political participation and its impact on governance

By

Arifa Mazhar

agenda of discussion
Agenda of discussion
  • Women’s political participation at local and National level
  • How /under which condition women’s participation generate pro-women policies and programs (ex lessons learnt)
  • How NGOs/INGOs can support women activists? Women leadership? From strengthening grassroots organization access to governance spaces at local level to support women’s federation/platform/network to link to women’s agenda in parliament and outside?
outline of presentation
Outline of presentation
  • Situation analysis of governance and women political participation in Pakistan
  • Strengths/challenges at structural, institutional, and functionallevel
  • Response from civil society
  • AF action with regard to women’s political participation for better governance.
  • Lessons learnt
  • What still needs to be done
slide5

In spite of facing serious challenges of religious extremism, militancy, terrorism, natural disasters, patriarchal customs and practices efforts have been made to include women in democratic processes for better governance

women political participation
women political participation
  • Via legislative measures: Local Government Act 2000 ensured 33% of women’ rep at local level (UC, Tehsil) total 36191 women were elected from total seats of 40049. out of these 126 were minority women.
  • In 2002 through LFO 17% Quota was fixed at Provincial, National and Senate level 60 seats out of 342 members were reserved for women which has been upheld by the last Government.
national legislation
National Legislation

Enactment of pro-women and girls

legislation such as:

  • Anti Sexual Harassment Act 2010
  • Anti-women Customary Practices Act 2011
  • Acid Crime Prevention Act 2011
  • Elimination of Custom of Ghag Ordinance 2012 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
  • National Commission on the Status of Women Act 2012.
slide8
Cont….
  • Amendment of Hudood ordinance (1979) in 2006
  • Criminal Law (amendment) Act 2004 to address honor & defined the crimes in the name of honor & prescribed punishment in (section 309,310,311,338)
  • Giving women as BadleSulah (dispute resolution) has been declared as crime PPC 310
  • Enactment of 18th amendment of the constitution of Pakistan decentralization of Governance
mechanisms
Mechanisms
  • Establishment of NCSW, PCSW, ECP, ERRA, PRRA, NDMA, PDMA, DDMA, MoHR
  • Establishment of a board for Acid Survivor’s medical and psychological counseling, appointment of Ombudsperson for anti sexual harassment law, election tribunals, women parliamentarian caucus.
slide10
Cont…
  • Gender responsive Electoral reform ( separate polling stations, deputing women staff in women PS
  • Elections Dispute Resolution (EDR) Barring women from voting or contesting elections etc
  • Deputing Ombudsperson
international commitments
International commitments

Pakistan has ratified 7 out of 9 core international Human

Rights conventions & treaties major of these are;

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
  • Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
  • International Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities in 2011,
  • The Convent against Traditional organized Crime, in 2010
  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2008
however at the implementation level weak governance has been witnessed
However, at the implementation level weak governance has been witnessed;
  • Women were barred from voting
  • Extreme political violence during elections & Prevalence of VAWIP have been observed
  • VAW is increasing & major forms of VAW are not being addressed by Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • Crime Conviction rate is only 10%.
  • Parallel disputes crime resolution systems in place
  • Women HRDs victimized & targeted.
slide13
Cont….
  • Missing persons, kidnapping for ransom& increasing militancy is a big challenge for state & democracy
  • Religious extremism impacting women’s rights , promotion and enforcement of pro-women Laws.
  • Major pro women laws are still pending such as DVB in assemblies and some discriminatory laws remain such as; Law of evidence, Citizen’s Act etc.
  • Lack of governance and implementation for the enforcement of passed Laws
  • Absence minimum agenda to bound Provincial Governments for pro women legislation and ensuring women human rights.
  • Lack of accountability and transparency
  • Lack of Civil liberation movements
structural level
Structural level

The woman in this context of governance & political

participation will be seen at 5 levels: citizen, voter political

party worker, political candidates and elected politician s

They are facing;

  • Feudal, patriarchal, and gender biased mindset that ensure a continuum of discrimination and violence from private till public sphere
  • intersection of social divisions (multiple discrimination) : at all levels, such as minority women, women from lower income or middle class etc leading towards bad governance and limits women’s political participation
slide16
Cont….
  • Insufficient % provision for women political representatives not enough to represent half of population of the country
  • The International conventions ratified by Pakistan ICCPR, CAT, CEDAW, (optional protocol reservation bind CEDAW not to conflict with Islamic laws)
institutional level
Institutional level
  • Most of women have no decision making power within their family institution
  • Denial of women voting rights by some political party representatives.
  • Violence faced by women political party workers and, no accountability mechanisms in place for addressing VAW within party
  • Women are not being awarded tickets by most of the political parties
  • Obsession with need to follow party line.
slide18
Cont….
  • The candidates: women are not electable or are not awarded tickets very less women got the opportunity
  • No representation of women in the highest place in judiciary, no judge in Supreme Court , in High Court there were only 3 women , in government
  • 10% quota is not fully implemented, women are less in power positions
  • Working women do not have facilitation such as separate toilets, crèche facility ,Training opportunities
  • Less number of women in assemblies, ECP, decision making bodies, political party structure at national, provincial, local level.
functional level
Functional level
  • Low level of female literacy rate.
  • NIC not awarded to every woman the hindering factors are condition of photo, Birth registration, NADRA Mobile units have not reached to remote areas.
  • No gender responsive resources/, less budget allocation to social sector development, lack of transport facility, cultural and mobility challenges are not adequately addressed: absence of female staff in women remote polling stations, lack of education & awareness on women’s rights and political process.
  • Lack of presence of security forces, lack of gender responsive mechanisms to address internal displacements, conflicts, natural disasters etc…
response from civil society
Response from civil society
  • How NGOs/INGOs can support women activists? Women leadership? From strengthening grassroots organization access to governance spaces at local level to support women’s federation/platform/network to link to women’s agenda in parliament and outside?

NGOs/INGOs can support by;

  • Sensitization to create a conducive environment. Mobilize and educate local communities and by enhancing their capabilities to influence
  • Public /private partnership to promote political interest and conducive environment for good governance
  • Data collection/analysis and research to conduct evidence based advocacy
slide21
Cont…
  • Monitor governance and its impact on women’s rights & disseminate info at various platforms.
  • Liaise with media
  • Partner with civil society and donors on long term programming
  • Share and disseminate best practices.
  • Organize interface dialogue at various levels to bridge up the gap and counter social discussions besides other advocacy tools.
af action with regard to women s political participation of women for better governance
AF action with regard to women’s political participation of women for better governance

Aurat Foundation was established in 1986 under

society’s Act with the mission to work for

women’s empowerment & citizens’ participation

in governance for creating a socially just,

Democratic and humane society in Pakistan

Outreach

AF is working in 110 Districts and 6600 rural and

urban settings in all over Pakistan including GB

through establishing local citizens groups &

Networks

three key programs of the foundation are
Three key Programs of the Foundation are;
  • Awareness raising, sensitization and education through “The Information Programme for Grassroots organizations & Action by Women”
  • Mobilization through “Strengthening Citizens' for Advocacy and Action for Women Program”
  • Advocacy for Lobbying for “Affirmative Legislation and Policies for Women Program”
three strategic areas of intervention to define the operational parameters of the program is to
Three strategic areas of intervention to define the operational parameters of the program is to:
  • Provide information to women to build their capacity for decision-making and action, and information about women's issues and concerns to decision makers,
  • Enhance capacity of citizens groups, public authorities and public representatives to support women's participation in decision-making and their activism, as well as to enhance their access to opportunities and facilities at the local and district levels,
  • Do policy advocacy for developing an enabling environment for women's empowerment and participatory democracy and good governance in Pakistan
slide25
How /under which condition women’s participation generate pro-women policies and programs (ex lessons learnt)

We believe that consistent struggle always need to

continue to further transform advocacy work to civil

liberty and social movements and continue to;

  • Demand Affirmative legislative action and mechanisms to institutionalize women’s rights including political participation at all levels.
  • Engage men and boys to support, along with women to demand for pro women policies and programs.
slide26
Cont…
  • Enforcement and implementation of Laws and policies are equally important for good governance as Passage of Laws are
  • Complaint mechanisms need to be equally advocated
  • Sufficient allocation of resources with position must be available with women.
  • Accountability and transparency mechanisms need to be demanded and encouraged
  • Pressure/collaboration from/with civil society has to be built.
what still needs to be done
What still needs to be done
  • Capacity enhancement of Government officials to understand the international conventions and develop mechanisms to hold Provincial level Governments accountable
  • Reinforce pro women and girls legal framework along with implementation plan with monitoring and accountability mechanisms
  • Repeal all the existing discriminatory Laws
  • Ensure the implementation of ECP’s Code of conduct with regards to women’s participation and declare the elections null & void where women were bar to vote
continued
Continued….

Civil Society need to continue/build pressure that the Government,

in accordance with article 4 (1) of the Convention and General

Recommendation No. 25 (2004): must;

  • Ensure consistency in allocation & implementation of quotas across the Provinces, including civil service employment quotas, to achieving women’s substantive equality, in the field of political participation, health, education & employment with a focus on women belonging to minority communities; &
  • Ensure that the local government system is restored & 33% reserved seats for women are retained & women from religious minorities are represented in a system.
continued1
Continued…
  • Federal government needs to ensure full implementation of the Convention across its territory including at provincial level.
  • CS has to monitor the actions of government specially after the 18th amendment and the devolution of power does not adversely impact the advancement of women in all spheres of life
  • Ensure that federal institutions such as NCSW be fully equipped to effectively coordinate & oversee the formulation & implementation of gender equality policies & programmes & prioritize women’s rights in development strategies, for improved governance.