Female candidates trained in art of by-elections
MIANWALI: It is a blessing that women can contest local bodies election and thirty-three percent of the seats have been reserved for women, said advocate Sadia Mumtaz, coordinator of the Legislative Watch Programme (LWP) of Islamabad Aurat Foundation, while speaking in a day-long workshop of councillors at the press club on Sunday.
“Women can contest for the seats of district and union council nazims and councillors,” Ms Mumtaz said, adding that the government has provided many opportunities for women.
“Women should fight for their rights,” Ms Mumtaz said adding that the local bodies elections were the first step towards their goal.
“Women are dominated by men in all fields of political and economic activity,” said Islamabad Information Network Centre (INC) Coordinator Samina Begum, adding that women cannot raise their voice in parliament to fight for their rights.
“If women are elected by contesting elections, they can work hard for the welfare and betterment of their own community,” Ms Samina said, adding that due to rapidly changing values, men cannot restrict the other half of the population in their homes.
“The practice of Vani, in which girls are given away in a murder compromise, has totally been stopped from the district,” said Ziaullah Khan, chairman of the Karwan Community Development (KCD), adding that women selling custom is continuing in the tribal areas Khatak.
“Education for women is the major issue and honour killing and domestic violence on women were secondary issues,” Mr Khan said.
The Aurat Foundation had arranged seminar and workshops at different places of the district to encourage ladies to apply for their reserved seats, which were 56 in number in Mianwali district.
Earlier, in its first camp by the Aurat Foundation, women candidates were given training at the district court in how to fill nomination forms and register their deposits. The second meeting was held at Aysha Model School in Purana Yateem Khana and the second seminar was held in Kundian.
In the final round at Islamabad, the candidates were told about their election supporters and agents, the process of election campaign and polling of votes. Later, they were briefed by Ikram Rasul Babar, AF Islamabad coordinator, about the legal procedures, which the candidate needs to follow on the day of the bye-election.
Thirty out of a total 64 seats have been reserved for men in the bye-elections and 84 candidates have applied. —Staff Report