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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Win for female politicians, Daycare center in Balochistan Assembly

MPA Mahjabeen Baloch, who was criticized for bringing her child to the last provincial assembly session led a strong campaign for daycare facilities to be provided. Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan has decided to establish a daycare center at the Balochistan Assembly to facilitate female politicians.

News Desk |

The Balochistan Provincial Assembly, in a revolutionary move, has decided to establish a daycare center on the premises of the Assembly to facilitate women Parliamentarians, who can now perform their duties with their children towed along.

This decision has been introduced due to the commendable efforts of the Balochistan Awami Party MPA Mahjabeen Shireen, who was unduly criticized by fellow Parliamentarians for bringing along her child in the assembly’s last session.

Referring to the examples of female Parliament members across the world, MPA Mahjabeen fiercely advocated her right to bring her children to the Parliament and demanded the authorities of Pakistan to facilitate women politicians.

Mahjabeen calls it a big news but this is not yet it until daycare centers in every office where there are working women are ensured

MPA Mahjabeen was informed that bringing children to the assembly was prohibited by the law, and her decision had garnered a negative response from the political circles of Balochistan.

Campaign to Facilitate Women Parliamentarians

MPA Mahjabeen Shireen initiated a campaign to establish daycare facilities in assemblies and across all government departments to facilitate working women. Speaking to Samaa News, Mahjabeen shared her vision, “It is important for working women to bring their children along so they can remain focused at their work”.

She stressed that despite the criticism she garnered from her fellow parliament members, she remained adamant to stir this facilitating change for women in governmental workplaces.

Tweeting from her official handle, the Baloch MPA advocated, “Women restricted to ‘chardeewari’ is thing of the past. This rotten claim is refuted by the spin of time. Now, with such a change, women should be facilitated to go to work without worrying about their children. Daycare centers aren’t a luxury, they are a necessity!”

On Thursday, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Alyani announced the decision to establish a daycare center on the premises of the Balochistan Assembly, allowing all women members to bring their children along.

Read more: Is Pakistan’s gender quota in parliament showing results?

Mir Liaquat Ali Shahwani, official spokesman for the Balochistan provincial government stated, “The government would ensure all facilities in the assembly’s daycare center that would allow women parliamentarians to bring their toddlers during assembly sessions.”

Baloch assembly MPA Mahjabeen Baloch also shared the news from her twitter handle, stressing, “Big news but this is not yet it until daycare centers in every office where there are working women are ensured.”

Daycares Across all Departments

Mahjabeen’s campaign has been joined by countless working women, activists, human rights lawyers and women empowerment advocates from across the country, seeking an inclusive and facilitating working environment for women.

The Baloch MPA stressed that the approval of a daycare center for Baloch female parliamentarians is indeed the “motif of our struggle together”, however, she added that this is “just the first step”.

Advocate Jalila Haider, a renowned human rights lawyer, underscored that the baby’s presence was not the issue, but in fact, the issue remains with the societal convictions against working mothers.

Regarding opening a daycare in Baloch assembly she tweeted, “Actually the issue was not with the baby but with working mother. You know deep-rooted patriarchy, they want women stay home and should not participate in the issue where only man got monopoly. They create hindrance against women to discourage them from holding such offices.”

Women empowerment activists and working women from across the country joined in Mahjabeen’s cause, and pledged their support to the campaign demanding equality and inclusiveness for working mothers in the workplace.