Mothers in parliament.

EARLIER this month, Mahjabeen Shereen, a member of the Balochistan Assembly, was faced with a dilemma that plagues every working mother: sacrifice either her child's needs or her professional obligations.

She opted for neither, instead bringing her unwell infant into the chamber, maintaining her attendance record to effectively represent her constituents on the reserved seat she was elected on last year.

Rather than being supportive, however, her colleagues are said to have chastised the MPA, forcing her to leave the session, despite posing no disruption to the proceedings.

Prior to this incident, MPA Shereen said she had asked the assembly secretary for a spare room to be converted into a day-care facility a request that was denied.

It is shameful that in a country of historical firsts three decades ago, Benazir Bhutto became not only the first elected female leader of a Muslim country, but also the first elected leader in the world to give birth in office progress for women lawmakers from less illustrious backgrounds has remained stagnant.

In a profession that remains stubbornly male, affirmative actions isolated from a holistic policy of inclusion are merely tokenistic.

Though electoral laws on voting and representation guarantee at least a...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT