Hoor Asrar talks about the growing impact of Elegant female leaders
It is so impressive to witness the elegant female leaders of Pakistan venture out into the rough and tumble of politics to present their specific points of view on national issues to the people of Pakistan. It is indeed a good omen to see so many lady-politicians crisscrossing the corridors of power in the length and breadth of the country. They not only provide a good deal of prudent political advice but also add colour to the otherwise sour and hectic political life. It was General Musharraf who wide-opened the doors for entry of women into the political arena when he fixed a quota for them in federal and provincial legislatures calling them reserve seats. Though there were examples of women taking part in politics in Pakistan—Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto leading the way– but the mandated 60 seats granted them a large platform to express their views about national political matters.
The fixation of reserved seats for women was done under the pretext that women represent half of the population and deserve the right to half of the seats and that they have different experiences either biologically or socially constructed. It was also noted that women and men have partly conflicting interests and thus men cannot represent women and that the importance of women politicians as role models may pave the way for other women. Musharraf regime granted them a 17 per cent quota in legislative representation in all representative houses such as National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies that fell well short of 33 per cent demanded by Women Groups across the country.
The presence of women representatives added a hitherto missing lustre and it improved the performance of representative bodies considerably. The male members started behaving admirably and there emerged an atmosphere of general cordiality though there occurred individual instances of bad behaviour and indecent comments. The most impressive change that was witnessed by the presence of female parliamentary members was in their sartorial elegance that enhanced the ambience of parliamentary atmosphere.
The women parliamentarians came very well-dressed in respective houses and gained kudos from their male counterparts. Their dresses were consistently excellent and they took lot of pains to get them designed and stitched nicely. Most of them appeared impressed by vibrant designs in vogue in the developed world and opted them while remaining committed to their Pakistaniat. Many of them preferred indigenous colours and designs and wore them with exceptional style.
Sharmila Farooqi needs no introduction as a political figure and though she is young but has acquired quite a deal of experience owing to her commitment to political causes since an early age. She is very active on TV chat shows and always appears in them nicely dressed and talks sense most of the times. She is very conscious of her health and is fit-and-trim in her physical appearance that gives extra advantage to any dress she wears. She is a bold dresser and likes modern style. Her everyday outfits are no doubt chic and invite approbation.
Equally well-dressed is Maryam Nawaz Sharif who appears very conscious about her appearance in even the most trying circumstances. She has grown into a mature woman with fine aesthetic sense that reflects her careful development as an individual. Her dresses reveal that she prefers indigenous designs and reflects a conservative sartorial sense. Such an approach suits her as she hails from a background that is very conscious of well-clad physical appearances. Her simple yet sophisticated dresses are widely appreciated.
Sherry Rehman has a personality of her own as she bears an immensely rich background as a seasoned journalist and former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US. She is also very conscious about keeping fit and engages in regular physical exercise. Sherry is always well-dressed and remaining elegant is her second nature. She is a formidable politician and carries a lot of weight of personality.
Known for her sophisticated attire and expensive bags, Hina Rabbani Khar is an opportunity politician who has solidly built her reputation as an expert of foreign affairs. Though she gained national prominence as an economist but came out better as foreign affairs experts. She is currently holding the foreign affairs portfolio.
Shandana Gulzar is also a valuable addition to the growing list of female politicians who are making their mark on the national scene. She is known to be an intellectually sound politician who knows what she is talking about.
Malika Bukhari has emerged as an articulate politician who is very adept at presenting policies particularly related to the legal affairs. A trained barrister she is highly respected and valued as an astute political operative and is a highly sought after guest in TV talk shows. TW