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Strengthening Women Political Leadership in Local Government Systems

Project Brief: In result of local government election under the Punjab local government Act 2013, 99.5% women were elected on reserve seats in Nankana Sahib and 97% in Lahore. While 93% women were 1st time elected in Nankana Sahib and 80.5% in Lahore.  The reserve seats for women may be an important impetus for women empowerment but it is not a guarantee for effective political participation of the elected women. The goal of women empowerment cannot be accomplished by just sitting in the LG system.

Therefore, it is essential to implement some supplementary actions, which encourage the self-confidence of women, build their capabilities and remove operational obstacles. We also understand that effective political participation generates opportunities for women to participate in the political process and ultimately enhance their capacities so that they can gain more self-confidence and make attempts for a better share in the political system.

In view of fact, WISE and USAID  initiated a one  year project  (June 2016- July 2017) under its Small Grants and Ambassador Fund Program (NRSP-SGAFP) aim to  promote the  process of women political empowerment  of LG structures in two districts of Lahore and Nankana Sahib.

Coverage of Training: 636 elected women (492 from Lahore & 144 from Nankana Sahib) from all tiers; Metropolitan Corporation, district council, municipal committees and union councils of districts of Lahore and Nakana Sahib got training on Local Governance and Women Rights.

Local Government Women Caucus: A 30-Member Caucus of Women Councilors was evolved to sustain women political empowerment. By ensuring vertical and horizontal representation from all local government structures, representation of different political parties and categories like general, youth and minority. The purpose of LG caucus is advocacy for gender sensitive development at local level, mainstreaming of gender sensitive policies and services, and for highlighting women issues within the LGIs. For the experience gaining and linkages development, interface session with Women Caucus of Punjab Assembly, Women Development Department (WDD), Punjab, the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) and Lord Mayor Lahore & Chairman of District Council and Municipal Committees of Nankana Sahib were organized.

Situational Analysis of Women in Local Government: Under the Project, WISE published two Analytical  Reports for Lahore and Nakana Sahib, comprising analysis and comparison of different trends like age group, marital status, qualification, occupation, Sources of income, interests, political parties affiliation, elected 1st time or 2nd time. Second part of the reports is based on Responses/Quotes from elected women councilors regarding their political experience, expectation, achievements, aspirations and their future plans etc. The last part of the reports is based on brief profile of elected women representatives.

Development of Training Manual: After Training Need Assessment of 100 women councilors (15% of targeted beneficiaries) a comprehensive Training Manual was developed based on the TNA findings. Qualified trainers were hired to impart trainings.

Documentary: Based on project interventions and its outcomes is produced.