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Women in Politics: Gaining Ground for Progressive Outcomes


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Ayesha Khan's presentation at a session on Gender Justice and Women's Rights in the International Policy Conference: The Social Economy of Gender, hosted by the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) in Lahore on 29th November 2018.

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Women in Politics: Gaining Ground for Progressive Outcomes

  1. 1. Women in politics: gaining ground for progressive outcomes COLLECTIVE FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
  2. 2. ACTIVISM, CAUCUSES AND POLICY OUTCOMES • Women’s movement and campaign for reserved seats quota. • Women Parliamentarians Survey • Contextualizing Progressive Outcomes for Women
  3. 3. methodologies • Key Informant Interviews: politicians, civil society leaders, activists, external actors • Women Activists Group Interviews • Media Tracking • Online Survey with Parliamentarians • Extensive Literature Review
  4. 4. activism & quota Musharraf’s reform agenda Provincial political endorsement Grass-roots campaign during 1990s International consensus & focus WAF demand for restoration and increase in quota
  5. 5. Government Type, Women’s Representation, Activism and Policy Change for Women Years Govt Type Political commitment Intl Context Key Individuals Political Representa- tion of Women* Level of Activism from Civil Society** Policy Change Doctrinal vs. Non- doctrinal *1 = Influential individual women in government/politics; 2 = 1 (above)+ few elected legislators; 3 = 2 (above) + reserved seats for women in elected bodies/assemblies. ** 1 = WAF mobilization; 2 = Vocal women’s advocacy organizations; 3 = Grassroots mobilization.
  6. 6. Years Type of Govt Pol. commit ment Intl policy context Women’s political rep Activism Policy Change Doc Non- doc 1971- 1977 Civilian democracy High High: WCW ’75 UN Decade for Women 2 3 Constitutional equality Reserved seats provision (10 in NA, 5% PAs) First Women’s Rights Committee est. Government services opened to women Dowry & Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Act X X X X X
  7. 7. Years Type of Govt Pol. commit ment Intl policy context Women’s political rep Activism Policy Change Doc Non- doc 1993- 1996 Trans democracy High High [WCHR ‘93 ICPD ‘94 WCW ‘95] 2 1 + 2 + 3 Inquiry Commission on Status of Women set up Women’s Police Stations Centres for burn victims + crisis High profile govt part in 3 UN Conferences CEDAW signed Women appointed to superior judiciary Punjab govt 1/3 reserved seats in loc govt to women Women Devt Cells upgraded Beijing Follow-Up launched X X X X X X X X X
  8. 8. Years Type of Govt Pol. Commit. Intl policy context Women’s political rep Activism Policy Change Doc Non- doc 2008- 2013 Trans democracy High Post-conflict donor support 3 1 + 2 First Women’s Parliamentary Caucus Domestic violence laws begin Sexual harassment laws Anti-Women Practices Law Acid Crimes law X X X X X X 2013- 2018 “ “ Low Western aid reduces 3 1 + 2 Anti-rape law Anti-honour killings law Provincial Women’s Caucuses set up Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women est Provinces review marriage laws Domestic violence laws Electoral law reforms X X X X X X X
  9. 9. • No single consistent confluence of factors has yielded the most progressive policy changes for women. • Non-doctrinal progressive policies for women are far more common across all time periods than those that engage with doctrinal issues. • A high level of political commitment accompanies all periods of positive policy change for women • The successes of women’s activism and advocacy campaigns need to be assessed over decades. • The value of international momentum for achieving domestic progress on women is significant, especially during ‘golden periods’ of policy-making.