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Minutes of the meeting of the 1st General Assembly of Women Parliamentary Caucus  November 21, 2008  1. The first formal meeting of the Women Parliamentarians of the 12th National Assembly was held  At Committee No. 2 of the Parliament House, with an aim to launch the “Women Parliamentary  Caucus”.  2.

Minutes of the meeting of the 1st General Assembly of Women Parliamentary Caucus  November 21, 2008  1. The first formal meeting of the Women Parliamentarians of the 12th National Assembly was held  At Committee No. 2 of the Parliament House, with an aim to launch the “Women Parliamentary  Caucus”.  2.

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Minutes of the meeting of the 1st General Assembly of Women Parliamentary Caucus
November 21, 2008

1. The first formal meeting of the Women Parliamentarians of the 12th National Assembly was held at Committee No. 2 of the Parliament House, with an aim to launch the \u201cWomen Parliamentary Caucus\u201d.

2. The meeting was chaired by the Speaker National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza.
3. 25 Members attended the meeting. List of attendance is attached as Annex\u2010B.
4. The Meeting began with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Ms. Shakeela Khanum Rasheed.
5. The Speaker thanked the Members for making it convenient to attend the meeting at a short


6. The Speaker referred to the earlier meeting of the women parliamentarians, held on October
20, 2008 and attended by some 58 women MNAs. It was in the said meeting that through a
consensus, the women parliamentarians had approved the Speaker\u2019s proposal of forming a
Women\u2019s Parliamentary Caucus. The Speaker informed that in light of the decisions taken in the
said meeting, the proposal of the WPC was given proper shape and was being formally launched


7. The Speaker also referred to the briefing on the Commission on the Status of Women, which
was held in the aforesaid meeting and reminded the Parliamentarians to send their suggestions
on empowering the Commission.

8. The Speaker appraised the fact that the present National Assembly has a large number of women representation, which must be translated into effective and efficient presence of women in the Assembly.

9. The meeting, through a unanimous vote, elected the Speaker National Assembly as its patron
for the life of the 12th National Assembly.

10. The Speaker laid down before the House the \u201cObjectives\u201d and the draft for the \u201cRules of
Business of the WPC.\u201d With the permission of the Chair, Dr. Azra Pacheho read out the seven
Objectives of the proposed Caucus.

11. Justice Fakhrunisa Khokhar proposed an amendment of inserting the wording \u201c\u2010\u2010\u2010 uplift of \u2013\u201c in
the Clause 1 of the Objectives.

12. Bushra Gohar objected to the Clause 7 of the Objectives. In her opinion, as per the women rights activists, the Millennium Development Goals had marginalized the women\u2019s rights issues taken up by the Beijing Declaration.

13. Dr. Attia Inayatullah suggested the insertion of \u201cnational\u201d\u201d before \u201cpolicies and programmes\u201d in
Clause No. 3.
14. Dr. Atiya inayatullah proposed the wording of \u201c, particularly social discriminatory practices\u201d
before \u201cdifferent levels\u201d.
15. Bushra Gohar opined that clause 7 seemed redundant in presence of Clause 3. However, the
House differed.

16. Justice Fakhrunnisa Khokhar proposed amending \u201crights\u201d with \u201cempowerment\u201d in Clause 5. Ms.
Tehmeena Daultana seconded her opinion. After heated debate, it was suggested that the
clause be reworded as \u201cwomen\u2019s rights, empowerment and gender equality\u201d.

17. The Objectives, with amendments, were then adopted by the House.
18. Ms. Nuzhat Sadiq lauded the launching of the Caucus and termed it a milestone in the history of
the Parliament.
19. Ms. Yasmeen Rehman thanked the Speaker for taking the initiative of Women Parliamentary
Caucus and assured her of her complete support.
20. Begum Ishrat Ashraf enforced the ideals of the Speaker, regarding women empowerment and
vowed to work for the Caucus beyond and above party affiliations.
21. Farah Naz Isphahani termed the WPC\u2019s launch as a major breakthrough for the women of

22. Bushra Gohar, while echoing the sentiments of other members, termed the formation of the
Caucus as a befitting tribute to the memory of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, who was the
first to float the idea of a Women Parliamentary Caucus.

23. As for the language of the Rules of Business, Bushra Gohar opined that instead of \u201clady Speaker\u201d should be replaced with \u201cSpeaker\u201d, \u201clady\u201d by \u201cwoman\u201d, \u201cChairman\u201d as \u201cChairperson\u201d, \u201cDeputy Chairman\u201d as \u201cDeputy Chairperson\u201d, and \u201cfemale\u201d as \u201cwoman\u201d. The suggestion was carried unanimously by the House.

24. Justice Fakrunissa Khokhar proposed redrafting sub\u2010clause d, clause 2 as \u201cThe meeting of the
General Assembly shall be one fourth of the total membership for the purpose of quorum\u201d.
25. The Speaker opined that instead of \u201conce every session\u201d, the sub clause g of Clause 2 should
read \u201conce a month\u201d. Tehmina Daultana differed and insisted on \u201ceach session\u201d. Dr. Attiya

Inayat Ullah seconded her. It was thus agreed to keep it for \u201cevery session\u201d.
26. The Speaker sought the suggestion of the House about the amount and mode of payment for

27. While members gave their suggestions, ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs.1000/\u2010, Dr. Atiya Inayatullah proposed to raise the amount to Rs.2000/\u2010 with the provision that a matching amount should be contributed from the National Assembly Budget. She also sought the Chair\u2019s guidance regarding the legality of the Caucus and asked if it would be legalized through a resolution.

28. The Speaker informed that in view of the freeze placed on the Expenditure of the National
Assembly, the Assembly would not be in a position to contribute to the Caucus funds.
29. Dr. Atiya Inayatullah appreciated the Speaker\u2019s efforts to control the National Assembly\u2019s

expenditures and suggested that the Speaker should liaise with the Senate, enabling the Upper
House to control its budget as well.
30. The House decided on the following mode of funding for theCaucus:
a. Membership fee:
Rs.500/\u2010 (one time on registration as Member)
b. Monthly fee:
Rs.1000/\u2010 to be paid, preferably on annual basis or maximum on
quarterly basis
c. Donations
d. Programme Funding

31. It was also decided that if at any point of time, any Member of the Caucus fails to pay her dues
for two consecutive quarters, her membership would be suspended, which will only be
reinstated after re\u2010registration as fresh Member.

32. The Speaker announced that Malik Mehrunnisa Afridi MNA had donated Rs.50,000/\u2010 for the
Caucus while the Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan had donated
33. Speaker announced a donation of Rs.100,000/\u2010 for the Caucus on her behalf. Begum Ishrat
Ashraf also announced a donation of Rs.100,000/\u2010.

34. Bushra Gohar and Nuzhat Sadiq announced a donation of Rs.50,000/\u2010 each while Ms. Tasneem
Siddiqui , Dr. Azra Fazal Pacheho and Nafisa Shah announced a donation of Rs.25,000/\u2010 each.
35. Justice Fakhrunnisa Khokar suggested the creation of the mailing address and web site of the

Caucus. It was agreed by the House.

36. Over the issue of the possibilities of giving membership to Men parliamentarians, there existed a wide range of difference of opinion. While an overwhelming majority voiced strongly against the concept of Men Members, it was decided by a majority vote that membership may not be

offered to Men Parliamentarians for the time being.
37. Nafisa Shah was appointed as the Secretary of the Caucus while the following were announced
as the Members of the Working Council:
i. PPP
Dr. Azra Pacheho
ii. PML(N)
Begum Ishrat Ashraf
iii. PML (Q)
Dr. Doniya Aziz
iv. MQM
Khushbakht Shujaat
v. ANP
Bushra Gohar
vi. MMA
Aasia Nasir
vii. PML(F)
Reena Kumari
viii. Independent 1
Saima Akhtar Bharwana
38. Dr. Atiya Inayatullah proposed that at least thrice in a week during the session of the National
Assembly, Call Attention Notice pertaining to women issues be accepted.
39. Nafisa Shah, Secretary of the Caucus thanked the Chair and the participants of the meeting for
nominating her as the Secretary and pledged to work for the Objectives of the Caucus.
40. The Meeting ended with unanimous adoption of a resolution and formal thanks to the Chair.
The Resolution is attached as annex\u2010A

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