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Women parliamentarians responsible for 39 per cent business in NA, Senate.

ISLAMABAD -- In collaboration with their male counterparts, women lawmakers were responsible for 39 per cent of parliamentary business in the National Assembly (NA) and the Senate during 2017-18.

Comparison of the on-floor performances of women and men lawmakers in both houses of the parliament showed that women members actively participated in the proceedings through regular attendance, particularly in NA during the reporting periods falling between May 2017 to February 2018 for NA and March 2017 to March 2018 for the Senate.

Currently, women make up 20 per cent of the parliament, with 19 seats in the Senate and 70 in the National Assembly. Women parliamentarians also supported their male counterparts in sponsoring three percent additional agenda.

The parliamentary Orders of the Day included a total of 5,654 agenda items during the reporting period. The percentage of women's contribution to parliamentary business in NA was equivalent to that of men, i.e. 49 per cent. In the Senate, women sponsored 15 per cent parliamentary business individually and three per cent jointly.

In addition, women lawmakers of NA initiated 31 (32 per cent) out of 98 bills on their own, and 22 (22 per cent) bills in collaboration with their male colleagues. Women lawmakers exclusively sponsored 36 (50 per cent) of 72 resolutions in NA and collaborated with their male counterparts for moving 16 additional (22 per cent) resolutions.

Further, women lawmakers in the Senate sponsored 13 (9 per cent) of 145 bills on their own and five in partnership with male lawmakers and moved 15 (15 per cent) of the total 99 resolutions.

Women parliamentarians also kept a close vigil on the government by asking questions and raising Calling Attention Notices (CANs). They asked 1,595 (50 per cent) questions and moved 64 (86 per cent) CANs in NA. Whereas, in the Senate, the questions and CANs moved women amounted to 241 (16 per cent) and 26 (25 per cent). Moreover, they sponsored 36 (80 per cent) motions under rule 259 in NA and 48 (42 per cent) motions under rule 218 in the Senate.

On average, a woman lawmaker sponsored 23 agenda items individually in both houses of the parliament whereas a male lawmaker sponsored on average 10 agenda items. In the National Assembly, a woman lawmaker introduced on average 25 agenda items, in comparison to six by her male colleagues. In the Senate, a woman lawmaker sponsored on average 17 agenda items as compared to 21 agenda items per male lawmaker.

It merits mention here that the National Assembly held 75 sittings, while the Senate held 100 sittings during their respective reporting periods. In the National Assembly, a woman lawmaker attended on average 50 (67 per cent) sittings, whereas, a male lawmaker attended on average 42 (56 percent) sittings. In the Senate, a woman lawmaker attended on average 64 (64 per cent) sittings, whereas, a male lawmaker attended on average 59 (59 per cent) sittings.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) Kiran Haider was the most regular lawmaker by attending 100 per cent of NA sittings, while Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party's (PkMAP) Gul Bushra attended 92 out of 100 Senate sittings.

Muddasir Sehar Kamran, Sherry Rehman and Rubina Khalid sponsored the highest number of resolutions in the Senate. Meanwhile, Aisha Syed sponsored eight while Shireen Mazari sponsored seven resolutions in the National Assembly.

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Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 7, 2018
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