All female parliamentarians are “tissue paper”Posted by Ellee on Jan 27, 2010 in Women MPs | 2 comments
This is what has been said about women parliamentarians in the Punjab Assembly. I sympathise with the struggles they face to be taken seriously by their male counterparts. Here is the report when the derogatory remark about all female parliamentarians being “tissue paper” was made, which went unreprimanded, despite strong protests from the women. Disappointingly, support from fellow women legislators has not been forthcoming either.
NO one heeded the protest registered by female parliamentarians on becoming the butt of male legislators’ remarks or use of derogatory remarks about women parliamentarians in media in the Punjab Assembly session on Monday.
Female parliamentarians particularly from the Pakistan Muslim League – PML-Q lodged strong protests against double-speak by their male counterparts but they could not get any support from their colleagues sitting on the other side of the divide.
The political divide among female parliamentarians in Punjab Assembly is so deep that they were digesting insulting remarks from male members of rival political parties without any support from women legislators.
Earlier on Monday, Shaikh Allaudin of the PML-Q (Forward Block) was called a turncoat by a female parliamentarian from opposition benches. Shaikh Allauddin in response said that all female parliamentarians were tissue papers and it was far better to be a turncoat then being used as a tissue paper. Remarks from Allauddin created unrest among female parliamentarians on opposition benches who protested before the Speaker against the legislator. Their protest, however, fell on deaf ears as neither the Speaker nor any female parliamentarian from treasury supported them.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah while responding to another query about Chief Secretary Javed Mahmood’s car accident claimed that he could not be dictated by a handful of females dancing on someone’s tune. Female opposition parliamentarians also lodged protest that treasury members were passing derogatory remarks about them but Speaker Rana Iqbal hushed them instead of listening to their complaints.
Afterwards, Ghazala Saad Rafique of the PML-N raised another issue, saying that a private television channel had passed derogatory remarks about female parliamentarians and they would not tolerate this. She was of the view that they had struggled and faced punishments along with their male members for revival of democracy but they were not being given due respect. She was supported by female colleagues from opposition benches who also raised voice against this. The Speaker also showed indifference and claimed that if women legislators had any grievance against any private channel they should begin a privilege motion.
Afterwards, talking with The News, Seemal Kamran of the PML-Q regretted that male treasury members habitually passed remarks about them but their female colleagues in ruling party never condemned them. She claimed that women legislators sitting on opposition benches had decided that they would not support female colleagues on treasury benches without weighing the seriousness of the matter at hand. She stated that treasury parliamentarians wanted them to boycott news channel responsible for passing insulting remarks about them but they had decided that they would not do it.