Pakistani Law maker to head Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians

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New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Ms Kashmala Tariq, member of the Pakistan National Assembly, has been elected as the next Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Group, the women's wing of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

A graduate of London School of Economics, Ms Tariq started her political career as a student activist. She is Executive Director of the Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights, a cross-party caucus of more than 60 Members of the Pakistani Parliament.

She has been a member of Pakistani Parliament since 2002.

The election yesterday, which was closely contested, was from an electorate of 80 women Members of Parliament and Legislatures from around the Commonwealth. Ms Tariq won against Parliamentarians from Canada, Dominica, and the Australian State of South Wales.

The election was held during the meeting of the CWP, part of the week-long 53rd CPA Conference inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil here today.

Ms Tariq will be Chairperson of the CWP Steering Committee, succeeding Ms Lindiwe Maseko from Gauteng, South Africa.

Ms Maseko was the first elected Chairperson of the CWP, having been elected to the office in 2004. The Steering Committee comprises Chairperson of the CWP and one woman Parliamentarian each from CPAs nine geographic regions.

In her address after the election, Ms Tariq promised to work to ensure equal participation of women in setting policies and passing legislation to reduce gender inequities and promote the rights of women.

The Steering Committee recommends to the CPA Executive Committe programmes on gender related issues for Parliamentarians and others.

The Steering Committee Chairperson also serves as a Member of the CPA Executive Committee.

Ms Tariq, who was the Vice-Chairperson of the Steering Committee, presides over three Standing Committees in her Parliament-Law; Justice and Human Rights and also Finance and Commerce.


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