ISLAMABAD, March 8, 2017: Women contributed more than 38% agenda to parliamentary business during 2016-2017, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in a report on the performance of women parliamentarians issued on the eve of the International Women’s Day.
According to the report, the women lawmakers in the National Assembly and the Senate contributed 62% and 13% agenda respectively. The women lawmakers of the National Assembly outperformed their male counterparts while the participation of women Senators was also significant in proportion to their representation in the House.
Women members actively participated in the proceedings through regular attendance and substantive contribution to the parliamentary business particularly in the National Assembly during the reporting periods – May 31, 2016 to February 7, 2017 (National Assembly) and April 14, 2016 to February 20, 2017 (Senate).
During this period, a total of 4,132 agenda items were included on the Orders of the Day – 2,123 in the National Assembly and 2,009 in the Senate. The percentage of women’s contribution to the parliamentary business is remarkably high in the National Assembly where nearly two thirds (62%) business was originated by women individually and three percent in collaboration with their male colleagues. In the Senate, women sponsored 13 percent parliamentary business individually and two percent jointly.
On average, a woman lawmaker sponsored 18 agenda items individually in the Parliament whereas a male lawmaker sponsored seven agenda items. In the National Assembly, a woman lawmaker brought 19 agenda items against three agenda items by her male colleague. In the Senate, a male lawmaker sponsored more agenda items (20) on average than women (14 agenda items).
The National Assembly held 71 sittings and the Senate 87 sittings during their respective reporting periods. In the National Assembly, a woman lawmaker attended average 48 (67%) sittings whereas a male lawmaker attended 41 (58%) sittings. In the Senate, a woman lawmaker attended average 52 (60%) sittings whereas a male lawmaker attended 57 (65%) sittings. Two women in the National Assembly attended 100% sittings while the lowest attendance of any woman was 6%. Similarly, in the highest and lowest women attendance in the Senate was 93% and 21% respectively.
The women lawmakers of the National Assembly initiated 21 out of 120 bills (18%) on their own and 23 (19%) bills in collaboration with their male colleagues. They sponsored 31 out of 67 resolutions (46%) in the National Assembly while collaborated with male lawmakers for moving 13 (19%) resolutions. The women lawmakers also sponsored ten out of 106 bills introduced in the Senate (six on their own and four with male lawmakers) and 13 out of 90 resolutions (eight on their own and five with male lawmakers).
The women parliamentarians also kept a close vigil on the government by asking questions and raising calling attention notices. They asked 1,208 (67%) Questions, raised 36 (70%) Motions under Rule 259 and submitted 44 (75%) CANs in the National Assembly. The women senators submitted 233 (16%) Questions, moved 14 (19%) Motions under Rule 218, sponsored 17 (16%) adjournment motion and submitted 19 (17%) Calling Attention Notices (CANs).