Shangla council’s women members yet to get funds

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SHANGLA: Women councillors in the district council have complained that they have been kept deprived of funds and other rights, and not even given a chance to speak in the council sessions during the past three years.

Naseem Akhter, a woman councillor elected on reserved seat, said that she had submitted two schemes of a road and water supply in the first annual development programme, but she was yet to receive her funds while only a few months of their tenure were left.

She said that the district nazim had told the women councillors that they would be given Rs500,000 each in the Rs200 million of the prime minister’s special package.

Say male members unwilling to give them rights

“Later, the women members were ignored while male councillors had been given their share in that fund,” she claimed.

She said they were only invited to budget sessions while the male councillors enjoyed the council rights.

Ms Hussan, another woman member of the district council, said that all the 10 women councillors wasted their precious time in the district council and were yet to get a single penny in the fund’s share.

“The male councillors, including the nazim, used us just for formalities like approval of budgets, but they are not willing to give us our share in the funds despite submission of ADPs,” the councillor claimed.

She said that she had submitted ADPs for sewing and handicraft centre and water supply scheme, but was yet to receive funds. She said that in other districts women councillors had got their funds and enjoyed the council benefits like their male colleagues.

Zaitoon Bibi, a councillor from ANP, told this scribe that she was invited once for vote during election and then a budget and that she did not know what was happening in the council. “I swear I have not received any funds of the council so far,” she said and alleged that other councillors and the nazim deliberately kept them unaware about the process and funds distribution.

The situation in tehsil councils Alpuri and Puran was not much different where male councillors had got up to Rs5,500,000 funds in each ADP, while the women councillors could get just Rs400,000.

“Initially, the nazim was not ready to give women councillors their share. But later we staged a walkout from the council after which the nazim agreed to give us our share, so each of us received Rs400,000 and initiated some small projects,” said Mumtaz Begum.

When contacted for his comments, district nazim Niaz Ahmed Khan denied the claim of the women councillors. He said that all women councillors had received their funds. He claimed that despite invitation they did not attend the council sessions.

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