SUBAI On The Road

Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) Provincial Roadshows

In seeking to develop a holistic approach to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the WPCs, SUBAI conducted a series of Provincial roadshows (Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and KP) with the following objectives:

  • Reflection on the importance of the role of WPCs
  • Sharing of national and international best practices with regard to effective WPC functioning
  • Agreement on broader objectives and strategies for more cohesive functioning of WPCs
  • Building consensus on the identification of key leadership competencies and skills for WPC Members

A large number of women MPAs attended and participated actively in the roadshows. During these interactive sessions, the WPCs highlighted a number of key gaps and challenges which adversely impact on the effective functioning of WPCs. Some of the main themes identified included:  

  1. Legal recognition/institutionalization of WPCs (bylaws, mandate, budgetary provisions, status on a par with other Standing Committees etc.);
  2. Lack of infrastructure, staffing & financial resources;
  3. Lack of defined vision & strategic plan;
  4. Formal Speaker endorsement and support was lacking in some Assemblies.
  5. Need to improve technical capacity to mainstream gender in all Assembly work; oversight & representation;
  6. Lack of alignment and cohesive joint actions on national and international policy agendas related to gender equality & mainstreaming;
  7. The need and value of regular opportunities for interprovincial learning and exposure visits.

The WPCs further recommended building a consensus on a joint action oriented agenda for capacity improvement and sustainability of WPCs with an aim to work for greater gender equality and sustainable development across the country.

The WPC recognized that a long-term vision and strategic objectives were crucial for operationalizing and achieving the WPC objectives.  SUBAI collaborated with UNWOMEN, UNDP at the Provincial level to enrich the content of these Roadshows. As a result of the Roadshows, WPC members were sensitized on the need to work beyond and across Party lines for a common cause and to support each other to attain greater strides to enhance gender equality.

Following the successful completion of the Roadshows, SUBAI plans to deliver a wrap up inter-Provincial Retreat at the end of March 2018 in Islamabad where all the Provincial WPCs will be brought together under the theme “Women Caucuses and Formation of Alliances for sustainable development“.

This three-day inter-Provincial legacy workshop will discuss:

  • The operational priorities for the incoming WPCs to be formed after the general elections of 2018;
  • Agreement on a way forward and commitment to continuously work towards achieving the WPC vision and goals
  • Strategies to involve stakeholders’, post-election 2018, and ensuring the institutionalization of the WPCs.
  • Chart out the way forward for an effective transition from the current WPCs so that their achievements and successes can be captured and passed onto the newly elected WPC Members post-elections.

The workshop will also be a precursor to major event a National WPC Convention proposed to be held in November 2018 inviting Members from the newly formed Assemblies both at Federal and Provincial level.