Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with TABEER-CDIP organized a two- day workshop on “Women in Parliamentary Leadership” for the honourable women Members of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.
The program commenced with the recitation from the Holy Quran followed by welcome remarks and program overview by Ms. Samer Awais, Director General PDP & IT (PIPS), followed by introduction of the participants and a brief overview of their performance as legislators in the last one year.
Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka in his inaugural speech, welcomed the participants by lauding the role women members played in conducting parliamentary business and suggested them in order to emerge as successful parliamentarians they should do effective law making, scrutinizing the policies and formulating budget. He highlighted that by hard work they can bring long-time effectiveness in their performance. He also added that the aim of this gathering was to foster better inter-provincial connections and synergies for collectively improving the parliamentary space for women.
Honourable Shahnaz Wazir Ali, former Member, National Assembly of Pakistan presented an enlightening view of “the Role of Women in Pakistan’s Politics” highlighting the concept of leadership and stating that “Leadership could not be defined by any significant portfolio but by skills of the individuals”. She argued that the engenderment of the political system in Pakistan not only dealt with the women representation in politics but also recognized their role and significance in the already prevailing political sphere.
Mr. Kmaran Rizvi, Senior Consultant, Carnelian opened his session on “Negotiating Political Space” in which participants were apprised about various approaches in dealing with conflict & building consensus as well as meaningful participation in “Issue based politics”. Mr. Rizvi engaged the participants in different kinds of activities and argued that within political negotiations, facts as well as perceptions were important tools to consider.
Syed Shamoon Hashmi, Joint Secretary, National Assembly of Pakistan opened the session on day-2, with his welcome remarks and highlighting the history and role of women in Islam and in Pakistan’s politics. He invited Honorable Syeda Abida Hussain, former Parliamentarian to discuss the concept of “Building Constituency Relations” and establishing effective position across party lines. She further shared her political experience with the participants and the challenges she had faced during her political career.
Mr. Zafarullah Khan, Parliamentary expert, was next to speak, who briefed about the “Significance of Learning in a Challenging Political Landscape” in Pakistan and narrated that learning was a life-long process. He described that Political Parties, Electorate and the Parliament served as the “laboratories of learning” for politicians. Finally, he shed light on the importance of acquiring knowledge for effective parliamentary performance and concluded that as a Member, it was knowledge that enabled them to perform in a political setup according to their own field of interest.
Mr. Inayatullah Lak, Director General (Parliamentary Affairs & Research), gave a presentation on the “Comparative analysis of Committees’ Rules of procedure”. He briefly discussed the comparison between Committee Rules of the National Assembly, the Senate and the four Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan and narrated various parliamentary tools through which the Parliament could make the government accountable.
Afterwards the delegation visited the Parliament of Pakistan where they had the privilege to meet Honourable Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Asad Qaiser. The delegation also paid a visit to the iconic Gali-e-dastoor & Women Parliamentary Caucus. The delegation had an interactive discussion with the senior senators regarding the role of women senators in conducting parliamentary business.