Role of Women Parliamentarians and Research Practices in Pakistan

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The Parliamentary Elections for National as well as state legislators in 2008, proved to be a watershed for a greater, more informed and effective participation of women parliamentarians in Pakistan. This article is an appraisal of the evolving role of female parliamentarians, the constraints that they face and steps that can be taken to enhance their engagement in national debate on peace and conflict. The article provides lessons learned in the capacity building of female parliamentarians in Pakistan, with a focus on the research practices and institutional mechanisms that have been developed to support their engagement on national security issues and conflict resolution strategies. The article emphasizes the importance of developing a network of women parliamentarians, academia, civil-society organizations, indigenous parliamentary institutions and international donors to effectively focus and work together in creating a sustainable knowledge-based paradigm of accurate research and analysis that is necessary to empower parliamentarians in general and women MPs in particular with regard to their effectiveness as mediators and ambassadors of peace, conflict management and human security.

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