'Lady Speaker' alleges gender discrimination -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Lady Speaker’ alleges gender discrimination

Karachi: The Sindh Assembly session on Wednesday was in a state of disarray as PPP legislators refused to obey the directions of Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza. The session also saw the ruling party’s Javed Shah walking out of the session during a debate on the budget.

It all began when Information Minister Sharjeel Memon asked the chair to bring the house in order as legislators were chattering away amongst themselves. This prompted the deputy speaker to direct the legislators to demonstrate seriousness during the general discussion on the budget. When Shehla Raza asked PPP’s Javed Shah to keep silent and sit on his reserved bench, he seemed irritated and ignored the deputy speaker’s directions. As a result, Shehla Raza observed that she was not being respected because she was a ‘lady speaker’.

Sensing that an uncomfortable situation was about to develop, Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and Power Minister Shazia Marri stood up and tried to pacify the situation. The speaker then asked those who were not interested in the debate to leave the house, which prompted Javed Shah to leave.

When Shehla Raza left the chair and chairman of the panel Dr. Ahmed Ali Shah started chairing the session, several PPP legislators started thumping desks to express happiness.

Also, a heated debate took place between Information Minister Sharjeel Memon and opposition legislator Nusrat Abbasi when the former said that the PML-F was part of the government and that the lady legislator was against the policies of her party.

Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that the Sindh Information Department paid more than Rs580 million to the print and electronic media for advertisements over the last two years. The Information Department owes no dues to the electronic media, while outstanding dues amounting to Rs108,798,906 are owed to the print media, which would be paid soon. Responding to questions by legislators, the minister said a fair, transparent and impartial policy had been adopted regarding the distribution of government advertisements to the print and electronic media.

Source: The News

Date:6/23/2011