Islamabad - The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) took notice of walkout of the women parliamentarians over denial of development funds.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the commission supported women parliamentarians’ position. “NCSW views this demand as legitimate. As members of assemblies they are entitled to an equal status as their male counterparts”, it said. “Women seats are reserved under the constitutional provision of affirmative action in order to ensure women’s participation in public affairs and law making. Women in assemblies have actively participated in all kinds of debates and have demonstrated their ability to participate fully. Their attendance has been more regular; they have raised questions, moved resolutions, tabled legislation and ably chaired committees. Over the last decade women parliamentarians have been at the forefront of introducing and steering some landmark legislation for women protection and empowerment.”

Depriving women of development funds is discrimination and undermines the very objective of the affirmative action i.e. to get women into the mainstream to the point that they no longer will need special provisions. The commission urged the government to revisit its decision and allocate development funds to women parliamentarians so that they too are in a position to take initiatives for women’s welfare and services.