Women Parliamentary Caucus demands Inclusive, empowered LG System in KP

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Islamabad: Women Parliamentary Caucus KP Assembly (WPC), Government officials and civil society have demanded an inclusive and citizen’s friendly local government system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The demand was raised by stakeholders during a dialogue session jointly organized by German Development Corporation (GIZ), Local Govt. Department KP and Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) on local government system.
Mahmood Jan, Deputy Speaker KP Assembly, in his inaugural remarks congratulated CPDI and Local Govt. department KP, for organizing a dialogue session to apprise members of WPC about Local Government Act,2013 and amendments till date. He also appreciated Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the first phase of KP LG Elections in 17 Districts in December 2021. As second phase, the LG elections in the rest of 18 districts of KP will be held on January 16 he added. Dr. Sumera Shams, Chairperson WPC KP and other honorable members’ actively participated in the dialogue session.
Participant’s unanimously agreed and presented some recommendations to improve existing local government system in Pakistan. Firstly scope of Article 140-A should be expanded and Sub-clauses should be inserted that restrict provincial governments about making amendments in acts especially closer to the term of completion of any local government. Moreover, party based elections at all tiers of government was also jointly supported by the participants. Majority supported the women participation and recommended that ECP should bound political parties to award at least 33 % of the tickets on general seats to women candidates. In addition, ECP should also take measures to ensure participation of internally migrated women. Participants also supported to bring in place the enforcement mechanism for the compliance of 33 % tickets awarded to women candidates. Representation of Women should also be ensured in LG Commission, Finance commission and any commission formed under the Act.
Mukhtar Ahmad, ED CPDI while referring to the Article 140-A of Constitution of Pakistan, demanded that local governments should be politically, financially and administratively autonomous. He emphasized that good local governments must be established on principal of subsidiarity and suggested that election of LG system should be held on party basis.
Sajid Gul, Secretary provincial delimitation authority and coordination unit KP, briefed the WPC members on composition, institutional Structure, functions and powers under KP LGA 2013. Abdul Hafeez, Director Local govt. Elections, ECP conducted an in-depth on the role of election commission of Pakistan in local government elections.
A panel discussion was held on gender and social inclusion in local government systems. Panel consisted of Nighat Siddiqui AGD Gender and Training Wing ECP, Zaigham Khan senior development professional, Ms. Fauzia Tariq Advisor Gender Wing IFES, Zafarullah Khan civic educator and Ambar Shamsi journalist and analyst. Panelists reflected upon the significance of gender mainstreaming in the electoral and political processes. They highlighted the need to discourage patriarchal system and stereotypes that hinders gender equality and women participation. Stakeholders collectively pledged to support inclusive and citizen friendly local government system in Pakistan.

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