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Women parliamentarians participated in a study circle at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services on Wednesday to enhance their understanding

Jul 30, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Women parliamentarians participated in a study circle at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services on Wednesday to enhance their understanding of post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The study circle – organized by the Aurat Foundation and moderated by the secretary of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucaus, MNA Shaista Parvaiz – served as a follow-up to the Beijing + 20 discussion on the SDGs Zero Draft.

Parliamentary task force chairperson, MNA Maryam Aurangzeb presented a detailed overview on millennium development goals (MDGs) and the transition to SDGs. She highlighted some of the technical issues which plagued MDGs and elaborated on the initiatives taken by the government to ensure they were achieved.

Aurangzeb also focused on aligning the global development agenda with the national agenda, saying the parliamentarians could play a constructive role to this end.

“We should have our own national agenda which should integrate into the international one,” she said, hinting at disconnect between civil society organizations and political parties. She also pointed to lack of data collection, data analysis mechanisms and parliamentary oversight.

Rutgers WPF Programme Development and Strategic Partnership Officer Shehryar Ghazi ran a presentation on post-2015 sustainable goals for parliamentarians. He said that following the MDGs from 2000 to 2015, the UN member states were envisioning a new development agenda for the next 15 years. He added that the new agenda was under negotiation.

Ghazi highlighted the role of parliaments in sustainable development and in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of commitments. Identifying youth as priority, he stressed the need for investment to improve their lives, particularly in terms of health.

Other priority issues included gender equality and women’s empowerment. Ghazi said indicators of maternal health in the country have experienced slow progress which has resulted in MDG5 being off-track in all provinces.

In the end, Parvaiz said that it was time for women parliamentarians to go beyond questions and calling attention notices in parliament and to effectively contribute towards the development of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2015. 

 

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