Quotas for women for legislative seats at the local level in Pakistan

Case Study

February 8, 2015

Quotas for women for legislative seats at the local level in Pakistan

Women in politics in Pakistan


Democracy requires the equal access and full participation of both women and men, on the basis of equality, in all areas
and at all levels of public life, especially in decision-making positions. Both the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA) and
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recommend that
governments adopt quotas as temporary special measures to increase the number of women in both appointive and
elective positions in local and national levels of government. A review of countries that have a critical mass (30 percent)
of women in their parliaments, local legislative councils and bureaucracies, reveals that quotas, either by voluntary action
of political parties or mandates of law, are used.
Pakistan provides an interesting example of the use of quotas at the local level. This case study will investigate the
kind of quotas in use in Pakistan, and provide some examples of the difficulties and challenges confronting their
implementation. The use of quotas at the local level provides interesting insights into their proposed implementation at
the provincial and national levels. Finally, some strategic methods for ensuring the full citizenship of women will be


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Socorro Reyes
IDEA International
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