Democracy is incomplete without ensuring women’s due political representation in local government institutions and decision-making at the local levels.

These views were expressed by the speakers at the certificate-awarding ceremony at the end of the two-day capacity-building training on the topic of ‘Strengthening Women Political Leadership in Local Governance Systems’ organised by the Women in Struggle for Empowerment (Wise).

The training was organised in collaboration with USAID under its Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme (SGAFP) at Children Library Complex on Friday.

The workshop aimed at helping elected women leaders to play their due democratic role effectively in local councils to strengthen democracy.

USAID Punjab director Alyson McFarland congratulated the training participants for successfully completing the training and wished them best of luck in their efforts to serve their communities. Appreciating the WISE initiative, she assured her support for the much-needed initiative of women political empowerment at the local level.

PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari appreciated the initiative of women’s political empowerment through such trainings. “Women must come forward to play their political role,” she said, assuring full support of the ruling party for the process of capacity building of women councillors.

WISE Executive Director Bushra Khaliq said Wise was the first organisation to start the process of training of women councillors after the completion of LG polls process.

Wise would be organising 36 such trainings for around 900 women councillors at various levels of local government in two districts of Lahore and Nakana Sahib.

The objectives of the training was to not only make the women councillors better understand local governance systems and their functions in Punjab, but also to equip them with better knowledge about pro-women laws and women rights.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2016.