I fully support this campaign and hope you do too.
Legislators in assemblies are representatives of the people. How can some women be representative of women when they haven’t even contested elections?
The same statement was was followed up by his tweet immediately after the conference
Reserved seats are necessary for woman but I am in favour of direct elections to them rather than nominations on a list
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 16, 2012
Seeing the confusion being played up in the media – PTI was quick to issue a clarification
PTI & Imran Khan would like to clarify that while addressing a seminar “Justice for Women,” at Aiwan-e-Iqbal Lahore yesterday Imran Khan never said that he is against reserved seats for women in the parliament and is misquoted in several newspapers. Imran Khan said that instead of women taking the reserved seats based on Nomination lists, a special election specifically for women alone should be held for the reserved seats so as to ensure genuine women representation.
The intra-party election of PTI is proof of the fact that the reserved seats for women are also being contested for. Imran Khan holds that legislators in the assembly are representative of the people and the women on reserved seats should be truly representative of women and their issues
A good explanation about the Women’s reserved seat was provided by Salman Latif : Women in Pakistan’s National Assembly currently have 60 reserved seats. How exactly are these seats filled in? Well, since the seats are allocated to each political party based on their proportion in the legislature, the said political parties have the sole authority to figure out who will fills these seats. The result is simply that the wives, daughters, sisters, relatives of the bigwigs of each political party smugly position themselves on these seats, clamouring out about women rights yet being utterly incompetent to launch the least effort to that end. Seats are allocated purely on political connections with nary a thought spared to any merit or qualification.
An argument presented by Bina Shah in her blog post Hands off the Reserved Seats for Women! would have been valid, had if Imran Khan actually spoke about abolishing the reserve seats all together, but he DID NOT – Bina goes on to question the fact that it might not be possible to hold elections in many rural areas of Pakistan – it could very well be the case, but its ironic to hear Bina Shah and Marvi Sirmed some well respected women activist to actually resist the suggestion of a further empowering women in Pakistan right down to the individual level, im sure if they were to look at the actual statements they too would appreciate this positive suggestion by PTI. Imran Khan sensing the confusion did respond to Momina Khawar about this confusion via a tweet the same day
@mominakhawar no Momina. I am in favour of reserved seats for women but instead of nominations on lists should be directly elected
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 16, 2012
Imran Khan and PTI is not against the reserved seat but wants to empower women more so by enabling the women in Pakistan to directly elect their own parliamentarians and let them carry forth the baton on protecting the rights of women in Pakistan – not be left at the behest of an elitist party leadership to pick and choose elitist women representatives who have no connection or relationship with the grass root constituent women and their issues
A further proof of PTI’s commitment to women in Pakistan – takes example from the its Intra-party elections – each UC has ELEVEN seats being contested for, SEVEN are designated open seats (both male and female can contest) while it has reserved FOUR seats for Women – and women are then asked to vote for them and hence women truly become an integral part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
I truly had a good laugh to have read a number women parliamentarians raising a firestorm in the National Assembly objecting to Imran Khan’s “alleged” statement – I wish these women would take time to investigate the issue and not be so greedily focused on protecting their own seats in the National Assembly – I honestly wonder how many would make it to the NA floor if they were to contest the elections directly, some .. maybe, most … not
Truly if you look beyond the fog deliberately created by PTI opponents – in reality PTI is actually working to empower women to the individual level – A women parliamentarian elected by women from each constituency will work to bring forth issues that are pertinent to the area – definitely not by appointed women nominated into power
After waking up from the sleep last morning, I logged into my facebook account to just get a daily dose of news updates. As I scrolled down my home page, a link shared by a friend caught my eyes that completely bewildered me. The news headline read, “Pakistan ranked as THIRD most dangerous country in the world for women.” I tried to ignore the news ‘labelling’ it a false, rumor story but then I thought to undergo a process of research and thinking on the it.
The process that I did was just a track down of past few years of Pakistan where extremism, radicalization and terrorism had dominated the image of the nation, and where poor-stricken and underprivileged women were often seen as innocent victims of the disease of extremism and terrorism. I recalled how women in Pakistan are just not ‘equally’ treated like men; how they are deprived of their basic rights to live with freedom – free from all sorts of impositions; how they are less accessible to education; how they are less accessible to different sectors in Pakistan when it comes to employment; and how they are treated when what they do is just ‘defend’ their rights or ‘voice’ their concerns.
Thomson Reuters Foundation under its Trust Law for Women initiative conducted a global research polling over 200 gender experts across five continents to deduce the five most dangerous countries in the world for women. The study ranked the countries in the following order.
While the Highest-ranked countries for each risk factor the evaluated were
- Health: Afghanistan
- Economic / Discrimination : Afghanistan
- Cultural/tribal/religious : Pakistan
- Sexual violence : Congo
- Non-sexual violence : Afghanistan
- Trafficking : India
Presenting women with financial independence and social autonomy, is often considered the precise approach to impart them power. However, the candid perspective is, empowering women is only a dream without ascertaining two fundamentals; A Blooming Economy & A Free Judiciary. And therefore, earnest political will! Integration of women into the social fabric would happen automatically with an improved economy & amplified employment opportunities. Dynamic government policies & magnanimous economic activity leading to more job generation will indirectly lead to more & more women coming out of homes to work, and hence turning them into financially self-sufficient beings.
Furthermore, enforcing women to work without any increase in jobs will only lead to more frustration in the society as now double the number of people will be applying for the same number of jobs, totting up the competition. However, by broadly improving economy, there would be enough space for both men & women in the job market in different categories. You see men doing many odd jobs that are purely a women’s domain, only because of redundancy. If job market is improved, these chores would also be available to women and even the most conservative ones would come out without eyebrows being raised.
Daily Times published today a detailed response by Samar Minallah on the fake flogging video she wraps up the article with some very touching words,” I will continue to challenge those who misuse Islam for power and politics. I will continue to raise my voice against individuals and political parties who use my religion to spread hatred. I will continue to expose and challenge the ‘conspiracy’ and ‘propaganda’ theories that try to befool the people of this country.” I give her my utmost support for the brilliant work she continues to do, and I believe the sentiments her article will be reflected in the same manner in an column I wrote for the upcoming launch of Express Tribune which set to launch this week, a link for which I shall share after its published
Almost a year back the political circus in Pakistan was up in arms at having watched a video of woman being flogged publicly. The video was released after verification by some human rights activists. Only recently The News carried a report claiming that this video was a fabrication and alleging that it was funded by an Islamabad based NGO which tried to implicate Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as the perpetrators of this women’s abuse
The News 29th March 2010: A resident of Swat, who claims to have prepared the fake video of flogging of a girl in Swat, has termed it drama and revealed that he received Rs 0.5 million for doing so before the launch of military operation ‘Rah-e-Rast’.
The uproar this video generated particularly among secular elements feared that the Swat peace deal would in effect hand over Swat to the Taliban who would carry out similar brutal punishments in the garb of Islam.
If we succeed and this couple becomes a living example to have withstood these heinous traditions, it might possibly encourage other such people facing such similar threats to reach out and also ask for help. I share with you Tahira Abdullah’s email just receive moments ago
Haseena is in Dar-ul-Aman, Quetta while Akhtar Hussain has recently been released on bail from prison, the couple fear that they will be killed en-route to or from the court and they have urgently requested for protection & security.
Tahira Abdullah draws the attention of civil society activists, womens organizations and media outlets in Pakistan and across the world to draw immediate attention to this issue, if enough eyes are on this case there is a strong possibility that the culprits would hesitate before committing this heinous crime while I think we must also draw attention of the Government of Pakistan to provide protection and security for the couple with immediate effect.
The marchers arrived in Gandakha today that was received by hundreds of men and women as they marched into the streets of Gandakha. Addressing the public gathering Mai said that her election contest is the overwhelming decision of peasants, women and youth of the area. She was least worried about the election result and promised to continue struggling for the poor for their rights fighting against the big landlords and influential people who in a cowardice attempt use the government resources to influence the election.
On the third day (March 3rd) of Huqooq March she and her fellow marchers traversed through the village “Bagh Tail” by marching 30km through a convoy of motor bikes, hitching rides from various datsun pick ups, buses, cars and tractor trolleys. The marchers were well received by the villagers at Bagh Tail who literally came out in droves to greet her. Addressing the marchers and villagers gathered to receive her, Mai Jori resolved to continue lobbying for the rights of poor and vulnerable especially women regardless of the outcome of her election result.
Mai Jori, a peasant women contesting the Baluchistan Assembly by-elections has embarked upon an eight day Huqooq March (March for Rights) journey across her constituency by foot rallying voters to stand up for their rights and be a part of the change. Mai Jori started on the 1st of March from the village Ghulam Muhammad Jamali to Gandakha and visited several villages on the way and will continue to march across the region till the 8th of March. Men and women of the area joined this March for Rights in hundreds.
Mai Jori is contesting from the area which was recently brought into focus for the infamous and heinous crime against women where a few women were buried alive in 2008 in a case of Honor Killing. Mai Jori Jamali is contesting election on party ticket of Awami Party Pakistan.
It is being reported that Mai Jori and her relatives have taken this decision to dare to fight with outdated customs of women brutality in the region.