Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
A Discriminatory social mindset biggest hurdle in way of women’s political participation [25-29 May 2017], Islamabad


A Discriminatory social mindset biggest hurdle in way of women’s political participation [25-29 May 2017]

Discriminatory social mindset is the biggest hurdle in the way of women political participation which restricts their growth as true political leaders. The views were expressed at the fifth four-day leadership Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop organized by Aurat Foundation under Women Leaning Partnership (WLP). Women community leaders from different parts of the country participated in the training that was meant to build the capacity of women leaders so that they can utilize their capabilities in building a truly democratic society.

The ToT was organized at a time when country prepares for the general elections 2018 and women make an integral part of this changing political situation and emerging political institutions. Keeping this situation in mind, the training was themed around characteristics of true democracy, functioning of democratic institutions, importance of tolerance and dialogue in a democratic system and role of true leader in the promotion and protection of democratic norms. The interactive training workshop had session based on the training manuals developed by WLP including Beyond Equality, Leading to Choices, Claiming our Rights and Leading to a Culture of Democracy. The objective of the training was to build the knowledge and training capacity of facilitators who will take this training further into the community.

The participants used creative ways to bring the concepts of leadership, equality, democracy and human rights under discussion. In one of the sessions, participants analyzed educational institutions and local bodies for being democratic or undemocratic in their functioning and reached to a conclusion that institutions in Pakistan are largely undemocratic in their functioning. They said that democratic institutions are with equal opportunities, merit, justice, freedom of expression, accountability, transparency and rule of law. “All these qualities are found missing in the institutions of Pakistan,” said Kanwal Shauzab from PTI. Sadia Kamal from media said that women are still unacceptable in leadership role in the society. “This resistance increases at higher level especially in the case of political parties. We can hardly find any women without family background of politics at higher level in the political parties,” she said. The participants were of the opinion that those who can think beyond themselves and can bring positive change in the lives of others are leaders. The WLP’s, an international network of learning partnership,  vision is to achieve democratic and peaceful societies that embrace pluralism and tolerance and are governed by gender-equitable norms, legislation, and policies that translate into equal rights and equal levels of participation and decision-making for women and men in the family, community, and politics.