There are considerable disparities between the status of men and women in Pakistan. In Global Gender Gap Report 2014, Pakistan is ranked at 141 among 142 countries of the world and the overall gender gap calculated is 44.78%. Pakistan occupies the last place in the regional ranking of gender gap. In order to reduce this gap, empower women and reduce poverty, the government of Pakistan has adopted various social, economic, legal and political strategies and policies. The reservation of 33% seats for women at union council (village level), tehsil council (sub-district level) and district council level under the new local government plan (devolution plan) in 2000 is one of the strategies adopted for empowerment of women. This created a critical mass of 39,964 women councilors in Pakistan. In order to assess the effectiveness and impact of women councilors for women’s empowerment, a study was conducted in two selected districts of Pakistan, i.e. Abbottabad (Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Province) and Attock (Punjab Province). Primary data were collected from 54 women councilors of both the districts. The result shows that participation of women councilors in local government remained good. Hence, the economic effect was quite surprising. However, no separate funds/schemes were initiated for women. Their influence over changing polices remained weak. The women councilors in the new local government system increased awareness and coordination among women. However, they were unable to reduce violence and awaken other women regarding their rights.
Shah, Iqtidar Ali; Aziz, Arshad; and Ahmad, M. Shakil
Women Councilors for Women's Empowerment in Pakistan.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 16(3), 203-219.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol16/iss3/14