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Bills introduced by female lawmakers face a different fate than those introduced by male lawmakers: FAFEN report

Only 12% female-sponsored resolutions adopted as compared to 45% male-sponsored resolutions

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 9, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Mar 9, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Only 12% female-sponsored resolutions adopted as compared to 45% male-sponsored resolutions

Photo: AFP

Women parliamentarians maintained a track record of consistently surpassing reasonable performance expectations during 2018-19 by making remarkable contributions to setting the agenda for parliamentary business, and sustaining spirited deliberations on a range of pressing matters.

This was observed in a report released by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

What is the representation of women?

Currently, there are 69 women Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) – 60 on women – reserved seats, eight on general and one on a minority seat. This makes up for 20% of the total representation of women in the House of 342.

Courtesy: FAFEN

There are 20 women Senators – 16 on the women – reserved seats, one on federal and technocrats each and two on General Seats. This makes up for 19% of the total representation in the House of Federation, which comprise 104 members.

Who dominates legislation?

The report details that the National Assembly’s legislative agenda comprised 51 bills including 12 government-sponsored and 39 private members’ bills. The government legislation was heavily dominated by male cabinet members as only one out of 12 bills was initiated by a female minister, the report stated.

However, female lawmakers made significant contribution to the private members’ legislation. They sponsored around half (19) of the private members’ bills individually and nearly one-fifth (eight) in partnership with their male colleagues.

The following figure shows the disaggregation of the legislation initiated in the National Assembly.

Despite female lawmakers’ remarkable contributions to the agenda, their business suffered from neglect in the Lower House.

The FAFEN report states that an analysis of the legislative records suggests the bills introduced by female lawmakers face a different fate than those introduced by male lawmakers as only a quarter of them passed the first reading stage as compared to 58 percent male sponsored bills. Similar was the case with the female-sponsored resolutions.

Only 12% of 16 female-sponsored resolutions were adopted as compared to 45% male-sponsored resolutions.

This performance analysis report covers the eight sessions of the 15th National Assembly held between August 2018 and February 2019 and 13 sessions of the Senate held between March 2018 and February 2019.

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