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Pakistan: Females

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government is taking to encourage the involvement of women at all levels in the democratic process in Pakistan. (201619)

Since 2002 Pakistan has made progress on strengthening the role of women in the democratic process. Most notably this has been through the reservation of 60 seats in the National Assembly and a third of all directly elected seats in local government for women. The Department for International Development (DFID) has supported these reforms through nearly £1 million of assistance to civil society to work with political representatives at all levels. We have also contributed £6 million to the United Nations Development Programme in support of women’s empowerment, including the establishment a women’s political school that has trained over 20,000 female Councillors. In addition, we have provided extensive support for training and promoting voter awareness during the recent elections. This targeted over 170,000 potential women voters and 5,000 female domestic election observers as part of a £3 million support package.