PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) has not been able to perform its functions in an effective manner due to the absence of funding and the overall apathy and lack of experience of its cabinet members.
A quarterly report was issued by the WPC for the period between April to June 2016. This was stated in the report. It showed that the caucus was established to enhance the role of women that were part of the assembly. It also provided them space to pass women-friendly laws.
However, the body faced several challenges due to the negligence of the government which was not ready to allocate funds. As a result, the caucus had no other option but to put its burden on the assembly’s budget. At the same time, the WPC failed to attract funding from donor agencies.
Question of roots
The caucus had been established soon after members of the provincial assembly took oath following the general elections in 2013. It gave female legislators a much-needed platform to collaborate on laws regarding women.
Initially, senior politician Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli received the opportunity to represent the WPC by taking charge as the chairperson and now the command of the caucus is in the hand of lawmaker Meraj Humayun.
“Funds have not been allocated for WPC and all our expenses are met through the budget allocated for the provincial assembly,” WPC Chairperson Humayun told The Express Tribune. “I even wrote a letter to the K-P Assembly speaker to appoint a computer operator and a peon at my office.”
She added, “It is a great achievement that with extremely limited resources, we were able to run this organisation and issued a first quarterly report of its performance.”
Lacking in motivation
According to the report, there is also a lack of interest among provincial assembly members. Many of them are not taking an interest in developing the organisation.
Humayun said only a few members were genuinely putting their share in the caucus activities and responsibilities. “We also faced problems because most of our members lack experience and are not aware of the legislative process. Most of them were new.”
During the three months, no bill was presented in the assembly by the WPC. The body presented two resolutions –a joint resolution that condemned the burning of a 16-year-old girl in Hazara Division and another on the establishment of women parliamentary caucus.
Humayun, while commenting on the performance of women parliamentarians, said, “A majority of female MPAs do not understand the rules of business and most of them are not aware of how they are expected to present a bill.”
Humayun termed the quarter as the most active period after the establishment of the caucus.
Original news : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1155273/seeking-overhaul-women-parliamentary-caucus-reels-inefficiency-lack-funds/