‘Gender Action Manifesto’ launched

ISLAMABAD:“Gender Action Manifesto”, a policy paper, published by Heinrich Boll Stiftung, a German Foundation launching ceremony was held here on Friday.

Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly Syeda Shehla Raza , Senator Nuzhat Sadiq (PML-N), MNA Nafisa Khattak (PTI), Senator Sitara Ayaz (ANP), MNA Aasiya Nasir (JUI-F), MNA Dr Fouzia Hameed (MQM), MNA Aisha Syed (JI) and MPA Meraj Khan Humayun (QWP) also attended the launching ceremony here at a local hotel.

The ”Gender Action Manifesto”, co-authored by Prof Dr Andrea Fleschenberg and Rabeea Hadi, has been prepared based on debates, discussions and recommendations made during national consultation process. The manifesto has two parts. The first part reviews the manifestos of the years 2008 to 2013 of all major political parties wherein Rabeea Hadi has identified gaps in gender-specific commitments and subsequent actions with regard to legislation in political party manifestos.

Speaking on the occasion, Jacqueline Wilk, hbs Regional Coordinator, said that with election fever around, this was an ideal time for civil society, women’s rights activists and female politicians themselves to seek more commitments and resolves from political parties in their respective manifestos.

She said, “We hope that the “Gender Action Manifesto” will not only provide political leadership, experts and practitioners a deeper understanding of policy level issues pertaining to women and gender, but also help political parties at federal and provincial levels to formulate their policies and laws through a gender lens.”

While, in the second part, Dr Andrea Fleschenberg, discusses in detail the policy-level framework through putting spotlights on Access: agenda-setting for women’s political participation and empowerment; Presence: agenda-setting for women-specific legislation and policy-making; and Influence: agenda-setting for women in decision-making in bureaucracy, judiciary, and law enforcement.

Heinrich Böll Stiftung is part of the Green movement, and it perceives democracy as a socio-political process driven by citizen’s active participation and strong democratic institutions. And it places particular emphasis on gender democracy, meaning social emancipation and equal rights for women and men.