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Results to be declared null and void in absence of 10% votes of women: Minister

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ISLAMABAD, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that results of elections in any constituency will be declared null and void if less than 10 % votes of women are cast in any constituency. .
She said that concerted and integrated efforts are being made at the federal and provincial levels to provide equal opportunities to the women folk. She was addressing a ceremony in connection with protection of women in Islamabad today.
The Minister said the parliamentary committee which is framing electoral reforms these days has agreed to ensure greater participation of women in the electoral process. A quota is being allocated to enable women to contest elections on direct seats. She said our society is changing and becoming more receptive to the rights of women.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said education is the key for the empowerment of women. She said the government has launched education reforms program in the federal capital and currently in the process of reviewing the curriculum. She said efforts are being made to create greater awareness about women related legislation amongst the masses.
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday said education was key to emancipation and empowerment of women and educating of girl child was the best investment in future.
The minister said this while addressing national consultation on “Implementation issues and challenges of women protection laws in Pakistan.”
She said that legislation done for empowerment of women so far could not be integrated with the educational curriculum.
She said now the curriculum was being revised under PM educational reforms programme and issues related to women empowerment would be made its part.
She said that the women enjoyed equal rights and opportunities in the Constitution and the government was taking practical steps for empowerment of women and protection of their rights.
The minister said that during past few years legislation has been done to empower the women as the legislation directly affects the society.
In order to ensure the rights of women the federal government enacted a number of laws which include Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2014,Anti Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Anti Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Laws
Amendment) Bill, 2014,she said.
She stressed the need for better implementation of the laws enacted for protection of women rights and their empowerment.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the issue of harassment of women at workplace was a sensitive matter and committees have been constituted in various organizations to deal with the complaints, but there was need for creation of awareness and training.
She said that all political parties were unanimous on the issue of granting rights to women and no one objected to women specific clauses of the electoral reforms bill recently finalized by the parliamentary committee.
She said that under the draft law result of a constituency can be declared as null and void if less than 10 per cent of registered women votes are cast and the political parties will allocate quota for female candidates in elections on direct basis.
The minister said that the Parliament has been working for women rights and women parliamentary caucus was playing very good role in that regard.
Pakistan’s parliament was first in the world to have a secretariat on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),the minister said.
The minister said that the males of the society will have to play their role in ensuring protection of women’s rights and their emancipation and empowerment.

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