The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) states on page 28 of its election manifesto 2013 that the quota for public jobs for women is to be increased up to 20 per cent.
Shehla Raza, the Deputy Speaker of the Sindh Provincial Assembly (who belongs to PPP), in an Interview with Truth Tracker, reiterated that the quota for public jobs for women would definitely be raised as it was a part of their campaign promise. She also confirmed that the PPP provincial government had announced the creation of 1,50,000 jobs in its first budget and that the government had a plan to raise the specified quota for jobs for women.
“We could not form the government in Center but in Sindh province our government will of course try its level best to facilitate people with all possible services. Women’s issues and rights have always been a priority concern for PPP. We did extensive legislation on women’s rights during our last tenure,” Shehla said. She also stated that if PPP couldn’t form a government in the Center it did not mean that its promise went void. It would fulfill the promise in Sindh by increasing the existing job quota up to an additional 20 percent.
She further told Truth Tracker that in the last five years of their tenure in the federal government, more than 3,oo,ooo women benefited from the Benazir Income Support Program. In addition, the Sindh Government gave 1,75,000 jobs to women. Moreover, women had also been granted distribution of land, small business loans and the like.
“Now, our plan is to overcome the law and order problem and health and education issues first. But the government plans to address it as soon as possible,” Shehla added.
The federal government’s quota for jobs for women was 10 per cent where as in Sindh it was 5 per cent. In its last tenure PPP’s Sindh cabinet increased the job quota for women from 5 per cent to 25 per cent in the government sector and autonomous bodies in the province.
PPP’s government in Sindh unveiled its first budget on June 17 but did not announce any further increase in the job quota for women. Therefore, Truth Tracker considers this promise as not started yet. The provincial government still has to present four more budgets and Truth Tracker will keep track of the government’s actions on this issue.
Faisal Sabzwari, a member of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), is of the view that the government does not have any resources to do anything in this regard. He told Truth Tracker over the phone that PPP’s promise to increase the job quota for women was not in compliance with the economic reality.
“It’s more of a political statement which has nothing to do with the resolution. Such declarations have been produced in the manifestos only to make them extra appealing,” he said.
Jam Zulfiqar Ali, member of PML-F, endorsed Faisal’s viewpoint and firmly rejected PPP’s idea of raising the quota for jobs for women.
“With the prevailing conditions, it’s absolutely not possible for the government to raise the jobs quota for women to 20 per cent. I do not think they would be able to do it. Our economic condition does not allow us,” he said.
Tanveer Jahan, Executive Director at the Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD), seemed optimistic about PPP’s Promise regarding the increase in the jobs quota for women to 20 per cent.
“It is a realistic figure and I believe it’s not a big deal, especially for PPP, to increase job quota for women. Despite their poor governance, they have set a precedent related to women and legislation. They had done a lot of work in their last tenure to empower women. They introduced ‘women-friendly policies’ and increased quotas in their previous term as well,” said Tanveer Jahan.