LAHORE - Participants in a consultation on “Deepening Democracy & Local Governance in Pakistan” at a hotel here yesterday demanded 33 percent representation for women in the local government system.

The consultation arranged by a non-government organisation was attended by local government experts and media persons. Speakers said democracy is incomplete without appropriate and meaningful representation of women in local institutions and Local Government Act 2019 offers little to women for their political participation.

Speakers said that abolition of 33 percent quota for women on reserved seats and their limited representation in the new LG system is disappointing.

Women in Struggle for Empowerment Director Bushra Khaliq said while addressing the participants the local government is considered the third tier of governance, but unfortunately it was ignored by all political parties.

She said the government should consider local governments primary institution or nursery of leadership and give more opportunities to the youth to come forward instead of excluding them from the process.

She criticised the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for not taking stakeholders on board before presenting the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 in the Punjab Assembly. The government came into power with the majority vote of young people, but unfortunately there is no reserved seat for the youth in PLGA 2019, she said.

She said that PLGA 2019 was stripped off reserved seats, including those for farmers, labourers and youth.