ISLAMABAD: In collaboration with their male counterparts, women lawmakers contributed 39% of parliamentary business in the National Assembly and Senate during 2017-18. Comparison of the on-floor performances of women and men lawmakers in both Houses of the Parliament shows that women members actively participated in the proceedings through regular attendance and substantive contribution to parliamentary business, particularly in the National Assembly during the reporting periods – May 2017 to February 2018 for the National Assembly and March 2017 to March 2018 for the Senate.
Currently, women constitute 20% of the Parliament with 19 seats in the Senate and 70 in the National Assembly. These women parliamentarians contributed 36% of the business transacted by both Houses of the Parliament in their respective parliamentary years. They also supported their male counterparts in sponsoring a three-percent additional agenda.
The parliamentary Orders of the Day included a total of 5,654 agenda items during the reporting period. The percentage of women’s contribution to parliamentary business in the National Assembly was equivalent to that of men, i.e. 49%. In the Senate, women sponsored 15 percent parliamentary business individually and three percent jointly.
The women lawmakers of the National Assembly initiated 31 (32%) out of 98 bills on their own and 22 (22%) bills in collaboration with their male colleagues. Women lawmakers exclusively sponsored 36 (50%) of 72 resolutions in the National Assembly and collaborated with their male counterparts for moving 16 additional (22%) resolutions. The women lawmakers in the Senate sponsored 13 (9%) of 145 bills on their own and five in partnership with male lawmakers, and moved 15 (15%) of 99 resolutions.
Women parliamentarians also kept a close vigil on the government by asking questions and raising Calling Attention Notices. They asked 1,595 (50%) Questions and moved 64 (86%) Calling Attention Notices (CANs) in the National Assembly. Whereas, in the Senate, the Questions and CANs moved by them amounted to 241 (16%) and 26 (25%). Moreover, they sponsored 36 (80%) Motions under Rule 259 in the National Assembly and 48 (42%) Motions under Rule 218 in the Senate.
On average, a woman lawmaker sponsored 23 agenda items individually in both Houses of Parliament whereas a male lawmaker sponsored on average 10 agenda items. In the National Assembly, a woman lawmaker introduced on average 25 agenda items, in comparison to six by her male colleague. In the Senate, a woman lawmaker sponsored on average 17 agenda items as compared to 21 agenda items per male lawmaker.
The National Assembly held 75 sittings while the Senate held 100 sittings during their respective reporting periods. In the National Assembly, a woman lawmaker attended on average 50 (67%) sittings whereas a male lawmaker attended on average 42 (56%) sittings. In the Senate, a woman lawmaker attended on average 64 (64%) sittings whereas a male lawmaker attended on average 59 (59%) sittings.