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Women have a little role to play in the parliament: MPs

Women have a little role to play in the parliament: MPs

Dec 12, 2011 - 16:00

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): Some of the womeninfo-icon Members of Parliament (MPs) claimed they had a small role to play in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon due to lack of coordination among the women MPs while less importance was given to their ideas.

The Parliament inAfghanistanconsists of two Houses, the Wolesi Jirga (the National Assembly) and Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon (the Senate). The Wolesi Jirga has 249 members including 69 women, while the Meshrano Jirga has 102 members with 28 women members.

Although most of the women MPs had good programs but still more importance was given to the views of men MPs inside the parliament, Shakiba Hashmi, an MP representingKandaharprovince told Pajhwok Afghan News.

“I wanted to include security related problems of my province in the agenda but failed to do so,” Shakiba said, adding their voices were not heard as members.

It was not only the parliament, but in fact all those problems arose from the societyinfo-icon where majority of the people did not respect women’s views, she said.

“Women MPs are unable to gain a seat in the administrative board of the Wolesi Jirga due to lack of coordination and dissent of women MPs in side the House,” Shakiba revealed.

There were two women MPs as members of the administrative board of Wolesi Jirga, Fauzia Kofi was the second deputy of Wolesi Jirga and Najiba Husaini was the secretary of the Meshrano Jirga during previous parliament but no female MP is there in this parliament.

The Wolesi Jirga has 18 while the Meshrano Jirga has 12 commissions but only four of these all are headed by women MPs.

Security and defense commission is headed by Shukria Barikzai and Fauzia Kofi is heading women and civil society commission in Wolesi Jirga while in Meshrano Jirga Ruz Gul Khairzad is heading defense and public welfare commission and Khair-un-Nisa Ghami is heading women affairs commission.

Both government and parliament had not trusted women vision, said Shukria Barikzai, MP and head of security and defense commission and added, “Powerful men are preferred inside the House but the sad thing is that when a female MP is expressing her views, other women criticize her, just because they are unable to criticize men at all.”

Women were not united and that was the reason they were unable to play a major role in the parliament, Barikzai said.

There are 26 member of Afghan Cabinet with only two ministers representing women.

Shukria Essakhel, an MP from Baghlan province also believed no one paid attention to views of women in the country.

She said men and women were equal when there was a question of ability, she said and added, “Men have priority to talk while women have less chance to talk or to be heard as women are more social and do not make noise.”

Women were limited in number in the parliament too, Gulalai Akbari, a senator representing Badakhshan province said and added, “Women are given less chances to express their views in the Parliament, even when they raise their hands several times.”

Bilqees Roshan, senator from Farah province said, “Women get chance to speak at the end of the session, just because the media covers the starting session of Parliament and male MPs want to be more famous, therefore they try to talk first,”

Ruqqaya Nayil, an MP from Ghorinfo-icon province said there was no discrimination in the parliament on the basis on gender.

“If anyone has an important, attractive and new idea, it will definitely attract others,” Nayil commented.s

Najiba Husaini, a senator from Daikundi province said proper attention was paid to women’s views in the Parliament and they could share their ideas with others openly.

Abdul Qadir Qalatwal, secretary of the Wolesi Jirga said women had equal right of sharing their views and they were never denied to speak in the Parliament.   Syed Azizullah Ulfati, secretary of the Meshrano Jirga has the same opinion and said there was no discrimination between male and female members in the Upper House.

A female senator who was nominated for the speaker position, got 45 votes, while there were only 28 female senators, so it meant both male and female senators had voted her, Ulfati said.




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