Driving Change, Shaping Lives || Politics Panel and Summation

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Driving Change, Shaping Lives || Politics Panel and Summation

so our final panel of the day is on gender and politics and to moderate the panel we have awesome khwaja who is a professor of public policy and a development economist here at the Harvard Kennedy School and awesome will introduce the three panelists and keep track of time well welcome to everyone again it’s I’m sure it’s been a terribly exciting day and last but not least I think we have a really crucial panel all the panelists of error doing fascinating work and I think it’s going to lead to a very interesting discussion really about sort of politics and and and how gender plays plays into that what I’ll do is I’ll keep my comments to a minimum my role is simply to keep time and and sort of facilitate the discussion there’s detail bios of each of the panelists in in the sort of booklet so I encourage people to look at that the the way we running the panel is exactly the same as you’ve seen before the panelist will have 15 minutes we’d have five minutes for them to then open up to discussion amongst themselves and then afterwards we’ll have a slightly broader discussion first amongst the panelist and then I’ll open up taking questions from the floor in the same way we’ve been doing before which is you write your questions and I’m going to look through and try and aggregate people’s comments so without further ado let me introduce all three panelists together Esther Duflo she’s a professor at MIT so heads the abdoul jameel poverty action lab if you guys have not heard about it if you look at their website they’re doing is fascinating work the world over let estro talk more about that as well we have a Lucia number of the senator from the Rwandan Parliament and then we’ll her after that from another parliamentarian humaira a waste who is from Pakistan and I guess we’re going to hair sort of politics in there in the field and how it works from from both of them thank you so much for being here so Esther go ahead thank you very much and thank you very much for having me here that’s a great occasion happy talking today about a woman politics viewed from there from the grass would form the bottom up just to set the singing complexed political participation is one of the areas where the gender gap left to its own devices seem to go Jim to shrink the slowest I’m thinking of going as the woman are catching up with the man this is where it’s happening the slowest we do see a reduction of the gender gap in education which is pretty much gonna reversed in most countries we do see more slowly a gender gap in women participation wages etc in for politics basically without quota a for women without active policy encouraging the participation of women there seem to be little or no improvement in their participation that’s it has been an increase in women access to political position the world over and but this axis has mainly be due to these policies of quotas for example reserving a half or third of elected position bit in in cities as mayor’s or in parliament as Member of Parliament for women so I’ve been working on this topic for about 10 years now time to answer various questions around this quota policies the first one is do that do they make a difference are they useful at all I would have any kind of effect second to the extent that make a difference is it a desirable difference can we say that it’s moving in the direction of improving the welfare of both women and men and secondly can they backfire the best way to look at this question is to not talk about the situation in general where it’s a little bit difficult to infer effects but to look at the effect of quarters where they have been in place for a little while where we can try and disentangle what the effects of these quotas might have been so India is a particularly

interesting window into this type of policies because it has had gasket reservation at the most classified level from now almost ten years no no almost 20 years it has there is currently in India a national debate on the expansion of those quotas to move from the most grassroot level that’s reservation as what they called a punch at level village council and and district council to expansion of reservation at the in the parliament of the state as well as the federal parliament which would bring one-third of elected one sort of elected representative would be women that that law has already been passed in the approach am in the upper house and but among much amid much much more discussion that was probably anticipated and it’s still to make its way as to become policy so the interests looking at India is interesting not only because it can inform the world in general but also because it has a direct relevance to the debate that’s going on there today finally and for me that’s actually a very important feature of them is the way that quotas were implemented allows us to contrast the experience with comparable places with and without quotas which is not the case for example if you were to compare countries where our countries which have decided to put in place quotas are probably very different in all sorts of other dimensions when we look at within India because of the peculiar way it was done we can actually compare apples to apples with reason without reservations for women reservation is the world that is used in India to refer to to to cut off a woman very short introduction to the panchayat system since 1993 India’s revitalized an existing system of decentralized government called the panchayat system which is a treaty or decentralized system of government starting with the village level about 10,000 people belong to a phone chat at the village level prom chat and I know it’s a block-level from chat and the disc clever concept i’m going to be talking mostly today about the lowest level of this the village level punch at the idea is that was that saudi the constitution was amended to make pancetta to it to reinstitute the panchayat system which had been placed in some states and not others into your elections every five years and put the pancetta in charge of local expenditures it was anticipated at the time of the constitutional amendment in 1993 that a forty percent of all expenditures would be eventually administered by the panchayat level although it didn’t start with forty percent infra indeed in the intervening period the planchette have become and more important particularly because they are the key players in administering one of the central popo policy in india at the moment which is a national rural guarantee act so knowing how this pans out function figuring out whether women make a difference etc are actually is actually an important an important topic the constitutional amendment that established the panchayat system re-established it also a planned for mandated representation of women and minorities that are former Untouchables in the panchayat system for women the way it worked is that in each console one-third of the members must be woman so picture about twelve council member for a village level budget at least three or four of those have to be woman furthermore one-third of each consoles must have a woman as a head so picture for a particular district 165 say gram panchayats one-third of those hundred and sixty-five must have the woman as a head there was a big concern at the time that the the council if the political parties or the local administrations were left with the responsibility of picking which consumed should be reserved then the country that would be reserved for woman would be places lying in the back of beyond that nobody really wants to be involved with the exeter this is not a empty concern of France we are here from as a policy of reservation for at the candidate level for Member of Parliament of fifty percent political parties must must have fifty percent of candidate and there are seven percent of women in Parliament and the reason is none of the women are filtered in places where they can actually win this it so to avoid this kind of things what was decided would be that there would be a random under my system of allocating which places would get a woman at in a particular election so there is a random allocation of one-third of the compensate for women at each election so there is some amount of quotation but not perfect so since 1993 for example a place like West Bengal has had three

cycles of preservation some places have been reserved one simplicity of yourself twice some places I’ve never been reserved along with several quarters including ViCAP chattopadhyay from the Institute Indian city of management in Calcutta royally pundit from here in the Kennedy School Laura Beeman and potato bulova we’ve been carrying and carrying out a series of project since about two thousand two on looking at the effect of these policies and we are exploiting mainly the fact that these reservations were put in place in a randomized way so that when I compare a place which had had a woman which are currently has a woman as a head for example compared to a places which was not reserved then I really have the effect of being as a for a woman not the effect of other characteristic of those places because nothing was different about them due to the fact that they were randomly selected so we’ve been looking at effects with this is a whole research agenda so I’m presenting like a number of people together and let me first list the questions and then I’ll give you exactly one chart for each question which is sort of emblematic of the series of result are behind that the first questions are about the immediate effect the reservation lead to more woman being elected it’s a pretty obvious question but of course if the answer to that is known I would have been a very short for such program the second question is do this does this lead to women to more effectively participate in the policy process that is other women who are elected other just some ones are figure but they are in fact not themselves running the show or does on the contrary have is it the case that having at least one woman at the at the head of the pancetta does it lead other woman to also participate more fab does it lead to different policy choices and do this policy choices better reflect women’s need first does it change the style of government to women lead in a different way then there is a more long-term effect does this policy change the perception that women are able to read this could be a positive change if people are now experiencing a woman in action this could be a negative change because people might see or now if there is a woman in politics it has to be because she got to sit because of reservation so this is kind of dis backfire of reservation does this policy affected chance of woman to be elected when the seats are not reserved does this durably change the policy outcome after the woman of God is it the case that all the policies they have undertaken get reversed or do they get a manipulator and finally does is change people’s excavation for their daughters now the answer dumar one get elected yeah we go from about a six percent of women elected as the Haddam that’s the head of the pancetta in West Bengal two hundred percent rajastan from one-and-a-half percent two hundred percent the woman participate effectively so the answer is the short answer is yes and here is just one graph this is the number of woman who’s the fraction of meetings in which woman from the audience I’ve said at least one word so it goes from about fifty percent to almost seventy percent in in reserved places does that lead to different policies yes it does not necessarily always in the direction that you would expect this other numbers for her for West Bengal the first class gives you the first two charts give you the number of women of of Wells newly built of repaired in reserve an unreserved places you see more wells built in reserve places the second graph is the conditions of odds you see better Odin reserved places the third one is the number of villages that have an informal school you actually see mark schools in the unreserved places than in the reserve places so there are differences all those differences by the way that i’m showing you are significant this is these are not artifact now some things go up some things go down so you might wonder you know is it some is it is there a pattern there so the next question you can ask is is it the case that this reflect women’s preferences so if you did reflect women preferences then what we should see is the places where we see an increase our the play are the type of goods where women are actually particularly vocal and interested in those goods and the place where I decreases we should see the opposite so here is the graph that corresponds to what I showed before these are the fraction of when people put on the complaint to the pattern on both bring up an issue in a meeting we have a record of that so we can look at the fraction of complaints that are about to particular issues for women are for men and you can see that women are more likely to complain about drinking water and other than men but they are less likely to complain about education so this may not correspond to your pyre of but happens to be their preferences in west bengal and this corresponds exactly to this lines up exactly to

where we see effects and the direction of the effect in there more public good so there is a shift in the type of public good towards what women want does it change the style of government here is just one example as the household ever paid a bribe to get water in places where r that I’ve never been reserved it’s about twenty percent in places that have been reserved twice it’s about thirteen percent so we see a big drop in the in the fraction of bribe-taking that’s kind of as one indicator of the style of government this was short on medium run long gone do reservation affect reservation affects people’s perception that women can lead these are the answers that people tell us after hearing a speech so we tape a speech by a bunch of women actors or fin or men actors and then we go to people and we give them one of the two you hear each other men speech or the female speech you’ve never meet that person you don’t know who they are they are the pattern from some other villages so all the information you have is the speech and of course the voice so the first thing you see is that in the never reserved places men are much more people these are both men and women together people are much more likely to say that the pattern is effective or this is a grade on the y axis you have do the great that they give on the scale from one to ten so men give people give an average higher grades for males pitches remember the speech is the same that’s just the voice so they hear the male voices that sounds better to them that isn’t new places that I’ll never never been reserved but as soon as the place has been reserved once either it’s currently reserved or has been reserved in the past then that differential entirely disappear so it sounds that the experience of a venir woman actually lead people sing well actually define does this matter well it does matter in term of actual policy outcomes because once the seat become unreserved again women are more likely to be elected in places that have had a reservation in the past so if you focus for example in the on the red bars the shortest ride rounded is the never reserved it’s a fraction of people of woman who are it’s a fraction of places which have a woman as a head if that place is not reserved so it’s a fraction of seats that are worn by women on open competition and we look at places which have never been reserved about nine percent of theta 1 by women you look at places which have been reserved once at about thirteen percent of seats are won by women you look at places which have been reserved twice about seventeen percent of seats are worn by women so we don’t go from something to one hundred percent but we are increasing steadily the chance for women to win an election finally our dis effect on durable are or is it the case that when men come to power the immediately reversed them oh you could ask also maybe the second generation of women is a very different set of women and they are also implementing policies that are closer to men’s preferences so this is the index of the alignment of the good too with the women’s preferences so think of it as a one number that summarizes the two craft that I showed you that people are more likely to do things that women want so this is the index itself has no particular value but what is important is is how it changes with the reservation so in places that have never been reserved at the shortest index if you were reserved in 2003 or in 1998 and 2003 it means when I’m seeing you you are currently reserved and this is what we had seen before the world the goods are more aligned towards women’s preferences but interestingly if you were reserved in 98 but are not reserved anymore so it’s now a man who usually who is in power the goods are also the goods are also more line to warrant preferences so we don’t see a reversal which we would have is the Bowers lower than the never result we actually seeing that it goes in the same direction so it seems that would affect our durable guards nobody ever realized that women actually want linking what our wells in their villages but once they start to build them to like oh actually that’s a good idea we can continue with that the longest one of course is what this means in term of check children’s outcome and here is something that’s a very recent set of wizards we have we asked parents and children what do you want to do with your life at what age do you want to marry do you want to work out do you want to be a housewife do you want to or how to boil if it’s a boy do you want to be a card and do you that do you want to be the head of the village do you want to be the president of india do you want these kind of things we ask those questions to the parents and to the children this is an index that summarizes the answer to all of these questions and you can see that if in

places that are and this is the gap in in this index for boys and four girls so this is saying that so each of these bar the fact that they are all positive shoes that parents generally are more ambitious for their boys than for the girls in is it have been reserved once they are still mom wishes for their poison for the girls implicit that have been reserved twice they are still more ambitious for their boys but less so and the blue bar is significantly lower than the two red bars so after a while of having seen a woman in power people actually take notice and say well maybe my girls can do it as well I want to finish on on the kids themselves because they are the future after all and they have exactly the same effect so the kids themselves are influenced by seeing this whole model thank Thanks are a wonderful set of results Esther so we’ll open up the panelists between themselves for a few minutes and then go to the next panelist if you have questions clearly you’re active politicians and Esther has been presenting results which are I guess studying what you’ve been doing it’s very interesting the way you talked about the legislative reforms and bringing the panchayat under a legal framework a similar effort we try we’re trying in Pakistan and I with a group of women politicians we tried to bring forward to replicate this legislation in India and we seem to see lot of resistance there and reason again that the argument put forward was at women have not been able to show an effectiveness on the reserves he’s in the parliament sodo panchayats would be you know it would revolt the tribal setup and to have women reserved seats on the village councils is something that I think Pakistan is still doubt prepared for sure you want 2nd BN Esterkin competent yeah I just wanted to make a comment on on the quarter system Wanda has also adopted the quota system and so far the country is very happy with this policy so I just want to know your comments how far this quota system can work one day is it very interesting example because if I’m not mistaken it was a quota system but it has many more people elected then many more woman elected then under the quota system which means that is one of the few countries in the world and actually more women in parliament and men my my opinion on the quarters are as as evolved in the course of of these results well I didn’t start with much of an opinion like on most things I don’t have a very strong view but I even after the first set of results where we found the wells going up and the wood going up and the school is going down I was like you know who am I to know what our wells are better than hoods it’s very difficult to have a toot or any well fair implication so it’s not clear to me whether it’s a good thing or bad thing but clearly it makes a difference and after the this the further wizard I’ve certainly changed my opinion and I think that actually could that may be a good things particularly when you see because of the of the effect that it has on people’s perception and and people and people voting behavior because when you look at the action of this woman on on the ground that tend to be bet better if you look at them on objective measures I’ve shown you just described dimension but to be honest I do more with the same amount of money than tend to be a bit more active you know probably there’s still a bit less lets him to you know that seem to be if at least as good maybe better but let’s say just as good then it seems to be silly for for for society to be deprived of half of their potential gender just potential politicians just because they think they are useless and what you’re saying and what we are saying with this cough is that they think they are useless they also don’t like the idea to be ruled by woman so that’s fine they don’t like it Who am I to tell them that they should like it but so I don’t want to change people preferences and culture on whatever but if they are wrong about something I would like to tell them just that they have the wrong information and the advantage of the quota system is that it forced people to experiment a graph that didn’t change you a daddy that I did not show you that it does not change people deep attitude that still don’t like the idea that women should lead in a general principle but it does change their information set there now realize that actually they can lead and otherwise i’m slowly but surely they elect them more and it seems to be that inner if we are stuck in an equilibrium where because of this home perception and to some extent because of preferences people do not experiment then forcing them to experiment with

these reservations may actually be a good thing and you might think that down the line then it won’t be necessary anymore just because the lot of woman would be elected without quotas and the experience of india i think is very useful to show the wall like Pakistan that actually it works I think it’s something with the expense of Wanda that has been quite powerful in the narrative and and other results that I didn’t you which is if you tell some villages that you know what the woman in the other villages they do actually as well as men if you tell the story in a convincing way we did this with plays then people actually also here so once you have this experience some places you can actually share it to some other places and then it changes the outcomes great thanks thanks so much i think i think weíll in the interest of diamond to make sure we get enough time for the for the audience as well we’ll move to the to the next panelist neff senator leo show if you take the floor first of all I want to thank you for for inviting me to this conference I’m very honored to be here and share with you the one has experience specifically the participation of women in politics in my country so thank you for inviting me i did a map of africa imagine a number of people don’t know the location of rwanda so it’s that small dot in the middle in the heart of africa briefly before i talk about Rwanda i think since yesterday and today we’ve been talking about the Cillian tissues that first the uninvolved countries and specifically for Africa I have to admit and tell you that African women still face extraordinary challenges key of them I think number of panelists have been discussing this are not going to the detail but we just talked about a few deprivations like access to education decisions decision making our participation financial and economic opportunities and of course our traditional culture the African culture on issues of inheritance and on issues of property ownership by let me talk about Rwanda briefly i gave an introduction of Africa to understand the background for people to appreciate where we are have been where we are today and where we are going I think specifically for my country let me take this opportunity to share with you the tragic event that before my country 1994 because the heaviest all of this tragedy before the women in 1994 we lost about 1 million people in a hundred days what happened in our countries that the family structure completely was destroyed i would say that about thirty six percent of our households today i read windows so it shows that the family structure changed we had a very big number of orphans about half a million orphans we had a big number of people internally displaced we had a big number of population that were afraid the neighboring countries so I’m highlighting this to understand for you to appreciate understand the situation inherited in our country briefly I would say that the social fabric in our country was completely down the social the political the culture everything so for you to understand why we are today people need to appreciate what to inherited so if we’re going to build a new Rwanda we had to be very conscious that the solutions and the options were also going to be equally challenging so when you talk about Wanda today it’s a I have to tell you that Rwanda today is a change country it’s stable it’s secure the economy is growing and behind this growth the women have been the anchor so these are some of the policies that we’ve been developing in the last 16 years we did what you call the national dialogue we brought in all the stakeholders and it’s like watching for the first time how do we move what we do and there was a general consensus

despite the tragedy despite the killing rwanda had to move on and the women were going to be part and parcel of rebuilding this country I’m not going to elaborate on the policies but i have a video of the testimonies of the women of rwanda just fine when their contribution to the rebirth of the country i’m going to leave it to the Dean so I think this is the common picture and wonder today these are some of the few women who are being sworn in as members of parliament and maybe what is particular about this picture is the dominance of women you can see there is only one man so every time members you can see some of these women so today in our Parliament we have a fifty six percent proportion in the parliament the highest in the world and for us to attain these proportions I think you can look at the numbers if you look at the women senators I think the statistics reveal that we’re trying to do oh okay so you can see in Parliament we have about thirty six thirty five percent and specifically in Parliament to have you see the figures there is there is a growing acknowledgement today that women can contribute and participate and change in Asia maybe what you’ve done in our country before I talk about the numbers through this process of negotiations and dialogue there was a very important shift in our politics there was a kind of a moment where in our country we had to agree when the kind of politics who are going to advance in our country and for the first time the people in our country agreed that we are going to change the court of politics politics was going to be food politics was going to be schools portex was going to be education it was going to be best on the basic and fundamental concerns of our people which is very different from the previous politics which was based on discrimination which was based on head which was best on SNS the differences which was based on the shape of the noise so it’s like we were going to shift and make a new paradigm shift in the way we are going to organize our population so it’s from this new definition that the women of our country took the leads to rebuild the country that’s why I see the numbers today and it’s not just about the numbers the numbers who are these positions in our country I would say that if you look at the state ministers or maybe the permanent secretaries it’s not just a number but the women in our country are holding strategic positions like the unit and Reconciliation Commission the Human Rights Commission the Ministry of Agriculture the Ministry of Planning key strategic ministries are in the hands of the women and that’s why our country is stable now unsecured and maybe I’ll briefly talk about about the impact of these women in responsible position you can see for the first time the small and medium businesses among women is growing to about fifty two percent this is from about eight then five years ago well about 18 so you can see the numbers have been growing then we have also benefited from the medical insurance coverage in our language scored in its it’s actually in french it’s called me tour de santé it’s about ninety-five percent coverage which is the highest in the region then we still have small numbers of women participating in university but if you look at the primary access and the secondary access you can see the percentage the recruitment has really grown I am proud to say that the ministry of education at one time was read by the minister of women it’s at actually woman and the permanent secretary today is a very very dynamic woman who has really pushed for these reforms these are just few pictures of women the first picture i see is young women involved in coffee it’s like women are moving from their traditional work of reproductive laws they are now going to the economy and you can see they are taking measurements they are testing coffee which is traditionally a male-dominated earlier then below you can see a picture of women in the Senate this particular woman in front is in charge of the social and economic committee so she runs an scrutinizes the budget then below you can see some young

girls a country has initiated where to go One Laptop Per child and there is a deliberate drive to promote younger to benefit from this technology which we are discussing this morning then the other network it’s a network of women that deals with the trauma and counseling of the women who are affected by the genocide and the post-conflict traumas so briefly how did we get here I say I have very few five minutes but we’ll talk about our Constitution we have a new constitution which was highly conservative and the women enjoys the comment i based organization the women in parliament who are very very instrumental in ensuring that to have a gender-sensitive constitution which is the anchor no one can change what you have achieved then we have a very sensitive gender national policy that was developed by the Ministry of gender then we have in since 1999 who have been working on discriminatory rose for the first time in Rwanda we have something called the family the family law that ensures issues of inheritance that protects women to inherit property that gives rise to girls and boys to inherit from the appearance that a bill that allows women to decide on their matrimonial regimes it’s a very very progressive bill and low in the region then briefly talk about what to call the general machinery in our country we have a very strong machinery which is a constitutional machinery called the National Women’s Council it’s a grassroots organization that we organize women from the glass roof after the national level this is an advocacy forum that allows women to collect data statistics and give reports to the Central Council on the issues that affect women this National Women’s Council has got a budget they can always reach out to the grassroot women plan the activities and influence government to include them in their planning process we have the Ministry of gender and very recently we’ve initiated something new that we propose in our Constitution what you call the general monitoring committee this monitors gives statistics looks at policies looks at programs and gives a report to the Parliament so it’s a kind of an accounting structure that has been designed in our Constitution that gets detailed information about the progress of women and girls then on the way forward briefly i would say that we are emphasizing issues of education i would say the way forward for us is education education education specifically for the young women and boys so they can take over the burner they can ensure sustainability and ensure that the achievements are consolidated so maybe lastly I will talk about the Lord of men in Rwanda you know I think there is a general nourishment in our country that the president president kagame is a very general responsive president he does not only campaign for gender but always six accountability from institutions from leaders so our experience in Rwanda is that if men are supportive if the policymakers gender-sensitive it becomes very easy for the women to operate and create an enabling environment for us to be part and parcel of rebuilding our nation so hopefully i’ll get more time to answer some questions but i have the video which i want to give their deal and then i have a copy of the action plan for 1325 which was recently published by the women so thank you for you and thank you for your kind attention Thank You senator for a very impressive account of Rhonda’s achievements again will open up among the panelists if their questions to what the senator just said my question is how did our Rwanda our deal with the corruption bought on the individual level and institutional level how were you able to curve it control it that’s very interesting because i think rwanda has been declared by the transparency international as the least corrupt country in the world live

alone in africa I think we’re the first country in Africa to gain that title by it’s all attributed to leadership leadership that’s committed to make sure that the public resources are properly utilized for the betterment of our people so it’s discipline it’s it’s it’s in strained in our Constitution and of course you have to do a lot of advocacy we in in Ronda we’ve got an office called the herbs man it’s an anti-corruption agency then we have a number of mechanisms we have other than the optimen we’ve got the public accounts committee in the parliament then we have the Auditor General’s Office in Ronda which is led by a woman the key institutions that are functional in our country are led by women so maybe it’s attributed to a number of things but our la say that we have a strong leadership that’s committed that’s honest that’s one to succeed my question is whether you feel that the political leadership is ahead of the rest of the country or is is representative of the rest of the country that is if you looking at if you look at other if you look at dimensions of say gender Wars generous theta secretary a household whether you do also see that of women taking charge at that level of whether the days which is then represented like by what we see in the political sphere whether you see that what’s Polly what’s in the political sphere is way ahead of what we would see in the family maybe I can say that this is a process it’s a journey and for every for every process I think initially we started with the Parliament then we expanded to the executive but now just last month we concluded our local government and were extremely happy the enamel of women at the grass root level at a sector live at the village level what fifty two percent representation so that shows there is a general acknowledgement that the fact that women are the higher lever have performed even the women are the grass would have performed and maybe I need to explain that a number of us before we joined politics we were active in the community based organizations they knew us we were part of the insurers so they we have to understand that we didn’t just come to be in Parliament we had demonstrated competence the population knew who we are so it’s like we are not alienated from our population so I think we have to acknowledge that this is a process it’s not a hundred percent but the fact that there is this critical mass in leadership position is a good message taco country right thank you so much senator parliamentarian child I crowded you to the organizers of this wonderful conference which gives me an opportunity to put forward the plight of Pakistani women and Muslim women other Muslim countries will have similar similarity to the context of Pakistan which cannot be understood without understanding the ideologies social and political contest the context and the mindset you cannot drive a change without awareness by the willingness to stand up by not being prepared for a collision between the individual and the system to alter to change and to make a difference in people’s lives start from changing their attitudes and belief systems it’s about the mindsets it’s about the ideology it’s about the inseparable relationship between religion and culture I believe ideology plays a crucial role whether it’s religious ideology leading to radicalism cultural ideology based on primitive tribal values or social conservatism with strong roots in patriarchy the mindset that controls or punishes or dominates the woman is the ideology and most of the time it is impossible to separate culture from religion and religion from social values as an example let me quote you to understand the mindset I recently moved a resolution in the provincial Parliament against the torture of women the text of the resolution is on the slide but you’ll be surprised that the rural that the resolution was opposed by religious political leaders and the traditional politicians the for rights that I

specified are either directly from Quran or the strong authentic Hadees and are accepted by old school of thoughts it was interesting to see the members perturbed about how I separated religion from culture I was able to point out very strong fundamental rights given by the Islam and totally opposed to the cultural ideology and conventional mindset torture on women revolves around the issues or autonomy on marrying and divorcing inheritance and control of inheritance something that Islam has already given to the Muslim women but denied because of the patriarchal control and cultural repression the resolution had to pass as they couldn’t deny the authentic religious sources but with reluctance and disapproval it seemed that Islam was not acceptable if it was about empowerment of women I was quoted in the media as an interesting headline beating ideology with theology political Islam is something that needs to be understood and political Islam as presently interpreted is a modern ideology it’s a political not a religious revolutionary change compelled by the ideal society the notion of the ideal society the attempt is to transform existing societies it demands the expulsion of Western political or cultural influences from their countries there certainly can be a political Islam without an Islam seeking a society more influenced by Islam without being totally ruled by the interpretation of it most Muslims do not accept Islamism as the legend eight interpretation of the religion in theory of course all Muslims accepted Islam as the proper organizing principle for their lives and societies practice is altogether different the great majority of the traditionalist muslins rejected islam is ins interpretation of the religion while s fervent Muslims are horrified by the idea of living in an extremist Muslim society there might be culturally conservative and pious but Islamism to them is a deviation from Islam as they had always known or practiced the religious political leaders and their bent towards extremism was a phenomenon of the jihad created to win the Soviet War in the early 1980s this the CIA and the ISI the Pakistan inter-services intelligence agency provided arms through the advanced resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the ISI assisted the process of gathering radical Muslims from around the world to fight against the Soviets this was the beginning of the political slam that was manufactured and engineered for military military reasons which did not involve on its own the religious political leaders are certain you certain Islamic injunctions out of the context to promote ideologies of extremism and jihad the selected application of Sharia out of its context to a search political control and intimidation did affect the context of violence on women the vahab ism exported by petrodollars were spread through madrasas and religious political parties under the very nose of the west and the military establishment of Pakistan the legal reforms in the name of Islam became instrumental in exploiting and punishing women zeon Huck was described as a fundamentalist Sunni dictator who took over the Pakistan imposed martial law in 1979 after assuming power the government began a program of public commitment to enforce Nizami Mustafa which is known as Islamic system as a preliminary measure to establish an Islamic Society in Pakistan Gerald Zia announced establishment of Sharia benches dziala Huck brought these inner ordinance which I provisions relating to adultery would replace so that women and the man guilty will be flogged each of them with 100 lashes the law had an inherent flaw as it did not distinguish between fornication and rape and became a major source of exploitation of women and the law was used against women by their own family members cultural repression has very strong roots in the notion of honor and shame women’s sexuality is thought to be a source of temptation therefore evil should be controlled sexuality of women has very direct relation to patriarchy and wealth and land inheritance the repression of women has what to do with qur’anic has more to do than Quranic rulings and Sharia laws most of the customary practices date back to pre-islamic civilizations even when Islam tend to outlaw practices like stoning or death or female infanticide the cultural roots are just too strong even veiling and seclusion has a very strong political motives protecting vice and waters from

the male contact is also sign of status as being protected from advances she’s not poor as to need to go out for work and is taken care and well provided for wearing is not only a class phenomena but in urban phenomena to as the most rural women have liberal dress code and less segregation as she has to work out in the fields even if they are not wailed or segregated they are still controlled historically speaking Spanish vegetarian and Greeks had much in common with the Muslims when it came to guarding women from the outside world with similar concept of Honor and protection village councils panchayats or j guards will keep and having effect on the lives of the rural society jirgas r will it councils of elderly people usually symbolic as the head of families or head of clans the conflicts are on the range of issues compromising from domestic differences to settlements of land money sociological differences and criminal offenses these village councils function as a body to resolve an avoid conflicts and establish their tribal code of ethics and values what happens in these regards give verdicts which are against the humanistic ethics and become vers examples of Human Rights exploitations or what happens when the compensation of a murder of amira twelve-year-old girl is forced to marry a man of sixty years or the brothers as a adultery is compensated by the verdict of resistors to be gang-raped by the other tribe members as in the famous of Thera my case due to corruption and the bore powerful influential tribe can create pressure on the village councils and have decisions in their favor at other times the popular opinion and resentment towards a particular individual or clan can also influence the village councils decision what both in its effectiveness and its limitations Jirga has an authoritative ideology and mechanism of delivering justice and establishing order informal justice system of yoga is the most PD and inexpensive way of providing instance else’s to people where their federal and provincial judicial systems are tardy and extremely slow where it takes months to years to get a hearing or on your case finally the verdict the irony is there has been a criminal Silence of the rights of women given by Islam which all sex and schools of thoughts except without a difference of opinion I still believe the only way to improve the condition of women in these primitive rural and tribal culture is to enforce Islamic rights the UN Declaration of Human rice is not even applicable in the current situation it broke a lot of violence revolves around these issues and can be easily addressed through Islam the only way acceptable to address the repressive casterbridge practices and cultural conservatism would be Islam the discourse of Islam has to change the humanistic ethics and the social justice of Islam has to be brought forward the gender based violence perpetuated in many different levels the family the community the state levels and in many different forms it has been used as a tool of oppression and persecution and customary personal or family laws often prevail and state institutions are reluctant to intervene this is an example of what women can do we got seventeen percent representation in the parliaments and twenty-three percent in our local government and we were not only able to repeal the hadoo the ordinance and is an ordinance but these are the four major legislations that women parliamentarians and the representatives of the local government were able to bring forward and today we have these laws that protect women I’ll skip this today that Pakistan is going through a very volatile time because of its economic recession and I believe that microcredit financing would be a great way of empowering women small business self-employment scale and skill enhancement microcredit for women borrowers is the best way I have been working on this first methodology interest-free microcredit model where we employed we took in 150 female clients and instead of giving them credit we gave them the raw material along the skill and the main emphasis in this approach has been to empowering an individual through services rather than finance and this is a model that we applying for the two years and is one way of economically empowering the women without taking them to the vicious trap of debt and interest so I believe in today’s recession where the donor money is cutting down where our own economic resources are not enough micro credit financing and better regulations would be a great way to empower women and empowering women would bring them in a centralized rule where they could be the decision-makers in their of their

families the way forward for Pakistan I believe that Islamic microcredit interest-free system would be a very effective way of empowering women at a point that we are standing today the political economic accountability rule of law and economic and social justice these are the things that we should think about and with these are the things that we face every day in our lives debate on moderation tolerance and humanistic ethics in Islam would change the discourse on Islam and bring forward a debate and another perspective that is needed today to change the ideology and of course the role of women as agents of change we need to redefine empower them and place them in a position where they can deliver thank you for your patience and attention thank you again thank you to actually all three panelists for for being so generous with the sticking to their time which is I thought I’ll again open up to the panel and sort of questions for the parliamentarian and I’ll hopefully be able to ask some questions as well because this discussion has got have got me quite intrigued but let me open up first and I know if these questions by the panelists to what you just said one one quick question about what you last mentioned the idea of interest-free credit so I I wonder how the DaCosta cover the one thing we know is that it actually quite expensive to to deliver small loans probably even more expensive if you want to deliver and then in a in kind so is that something that you’re a sense of what are the administrative costs of discredit 400 rupees loan like how much does it cost to lend that money and get it back and how and what is the plan moving forward for these cuffs cost to be covered is it something that is going to be subsidized moving forward or is it or is there another economic model behind oh I wish I had more time and I could give a detailed presentation on what this model is we started this model it’s almost two years now we started with 40 clients and now we have 150 clients the ethic are behind the interest-free islamic economic system is that you enter a partnership with the client and you are in this case we give them the skill and we give them the for example if a woman wants to learn stitching or tailoring we not only just train her we give her the equipment and then we enter a partnership with her which is pre-decided and once she is able to run the business then she gives us back the installments there are two ways of doing that you can either have installments back which the loan debt you had extended or you can enter a partnership where you later on give the ownership to the client yeah thank you for your presentation I just wanted to find out more information about the political system in your country how the functioning what’s the role of the parliament and was a lot of women we have a national assembly and a Senate which is the center and then we have four provincial assemblies the women representation and the parliament is seventeen percent this has the this is the amendment that was brought forward by President Musharraf and that we have twenty-three percent representation on the local governments system the local government system also has a clause in its in its ordinance which empowers village councils and a two percent representation in the village councils which I’m sorry to say that has never been implemented but seventeen percent in the participation on a political level in the assemblies and twenty-three percent the local government and most of these women are nominated and other than that we also have women who come through the general seeds by fighting elections great actually got a wonderful set of questions which I’ve been trying to group together to be able to get everyone’s viewing before I do that though I thought there was an interesting sort of contrast and the speakers or at least implications of what they were saying to each other which I was hoping they could all comment on so so in some sense Esther’s work clearly demonstrates at least in the in the in the Indian context or at least the West Bengal context that having quotas has a big impact and so it’s clear that they’re all these positives emerging disaster described their own sort of narrative no she

thought what I was very curious was to a sort of contrast that were Rwanda and the Pakistani experience I mean the question seems to be even before that how do we get to this stage where the decision for instance the decision to get kotas going is someone’s decision how do we get to this stage where we can push for that it seems like when humaira was talking about it that it’s how did you get such a large representation of members of parliament in in Rwanda and Pakistan seems to be facing a big struggle which you characterized is also based on ideology some curious to hear from both the Parliamentarians your positive experience and when that happened and how that happened what causes sort of the initial impetus to get women in and marry your experience on what the struggles have been in Pakistan in trying to achieve that and why has it not worked as well as it seems to have been working in rondo’s I’d like to hear both of your views or not and then if this happens and we can get to Esther sort of world where these things that have great positive impact so if I got you’re right you’re asking what what led to what we did no it’s like what I think it’s it’s good economics it’s a but if you look at the women in one today are about fifty two percent of our population so if you’re Alice Ilyas government is just common sense you have to use the resource it’s a good potential and women want to contribute about fifty percent of Agriculture so and the economic base of our country is on agriculture so it’s just it’s it’s obvious sometimes people say how did you come to it it just because we wanted this potential the power of the women to be utilized to be part of the nation building so it’s just being honest it just being clear where you want to go as the country and just you reach out to the women who are there who traditionally were just reduced to very few rolls of production so what you’ve done is just increase their mandate you can do production you can do the production you can do community service that’s the only thing we’ve done enough so good economic sense seems they just eventually lead us to this conclusion that we have to have this I mean I story implied this as well but why isn’t that not worked in the Pakistani context Romero work I be the question why hasn’t that I mean the senator said that basically it’s common economic sense that there’s a huge resource you’re not utilizing as effectively and that pushes us towards greater participation for four for women parliamentarians why hasn’t that work as effectively the major problem with Pakistan today is corruption and then of course we have we have institutions that are not weak they are not able to deliver and one of the struggles that I went through during my to experience as a parliamentarian is that women are are more in a follow ship role than a leadership role and to annoy in order to get their support it was very difficult for me to make them stand with me if it was wasn’t the political leadership supporting that so I think the most of the cases in where the economic empowerment of women we’ve not been able to do that is because we never had comprehensive policies then we’d never had the mechanism that could deliver plus the bureaucratic corruption the the political corruption and that’s why I’ve been repeatedly saying that Pakistan today needs accountability and rule of law than anything else so there is a comment which I’d like to weed into a question of a hair which is there’s a question asked about whether we have evidence of women reducing corruption or women being more honest and Esther seemed to imply there was some results along those lines if that is indeed the case as you characterize it that corruption is a problem why isn’t the answer get more women in why hasn’t that happened why isn’t that message coming through is it just that Esther’s work or others work hasn’t come through or or the Senators view was similar as well so that’s where you can jump in if you want as well and there was a bit of a chicken and egg problem which we see pretty clearly and in India which is it make maybe it makes sense with unless we it’s not it’s only not the widely-held people’s perception both the person of both men and women is that men are better politicians than women and unless you start seeing some woman then they have no reason to change your perception so unless it’s kind of something gets the process started is sort of no reason to really start on its own one that had a major major upheaval that was was discussed in the way of that woman God instituted I think you’ll correct me if I’m wrong but I think partly because men had shown some amount of modern incompetent and then

there was you know there was kind of a view that woman were hope but that didn’t happen like in a normal circumstance that that happened in a wake of this disaster India is that what is the political economy of how it happened in India is interesting there is so India is familiar with reservation it has reservations in everywhere for the shade for the former untouchables the front of the tribes etc so there has been discussion about having reservation for women in politics for a long time forever and never was it wasn’t really ever done but there was like increasing amount of pressure from groups etc I don’t think it would really have happened that you would have reservation in the parliaments but all these nagging is kind of like unpleasant and so what happened is that the Member of Parliament decided for the panchayat leaders who weren’t even existing yet so they couldn’t really resist that they would have got efficient for them so it is in a day so that’s kind of how it happened in India where I think partly to deflect pressure on them the legislators decided let’s to as a vision for them and and now that is coming back to the Parliament and the legislative assemblies there is like pure supposition so I think you need something it sort of doesn’t there are many goods in the world that don’t happen on their own like you can easily be stuck I think I think it’s some level it would be nice to pushes a bit further because this seems to be you know how do you get the egg roll how do you get to sort of process rolling I mean the ester mentioned two things one was a state of crises now that’s not something we would want to hope for a for a country to go through to to reach this realization the other a sort of reform by stealth almost there isn’t it there isn’t an opposition to this and you kind of get it through in the reform to stealth I’d like to ask us to another question which is is there now is there now that this information leesa in India but this is a very effective thing at this level is there is there a greater Porsche of a less of a push to implement this at higher levels as well how is that following make a comment about the conflict person I just wanted to disagree on a decision the decision of one is not attributed to a conference we’ve seen so many countries that have gone through a conflict but what’s important here is the leadership issue it’s like a conscious decision to make things change because we’ve seen a number of post-conflict countries that have really take have not really taken the options so it was not a crisis that led us to promote women prior to our genocide women were part and parcel of the liberation of our country so I just have to show that there is always misinterpretation about active participation of women it’s not about the genocide it’s because there was a conscious leadership that the new women were patterned first of the neuro and so that shooting that idea has always been in our mind I’d compared to your neighbors or other African nations that has been absent yeah I think if you look at we’ve been talking about the developing world if you look at the sub-saharan Africa there is a general agreement that the trend is changing yesterday we saw the vice president of Malawi we have the President of Liberia I think we time you can see the situation and the face and the participation of women in the sub-saharan Africa is changing so I think there is a growing realization that the women are a resource we mean if they are given an opportunity can change the livelihood of their nation so I think it’s a growing realization with all these international instruments the International vaca see that has been going on for quite some time so on the question of whether there is more question out to make it happen nationally I think that’s empirically that’s the key is whether it’s the consequence of the pancetta or not I don’t know but it’s small and pressure it will ready passed in the upper house so it’s kind of halfway there we will fully get there in in a reasonable amount of time what is interesting is that the experience of the pump jet was played a reasonably important role in the discussion on both sides actually some you know some people arguing or the woman who did in the pan said they were just like the shadow of the in the shadow of the husband they were not really running the show and therefore if we had it in Parliament it would be the same thing and then in turn like people coming up with the evidence which i think is more voice number saying it has actually made a difference

so the fact that you had like the litter the detail reform on this side actually does play a role in the public debate to shape the kind of larger perform so I think it’s kind of a good way to get the egg rolling as you say which is interesting image there’s a whole series of questions you’re very interesting and in fact one sort of typifies that it actually it also is very close to the emotions I was experiencing sitting over here which is which first started off with surprise then pleasure and then then actually move to back to a slightly more negative emotion so let me read the question and I’ll explain what I mean by what I just said it’s absolutely true that we need men to support and encourage woman how can we do this how can we get more men at conferences like this and the reason I’m sort of saying this is the moment of pleasure for me first was realizing that i was a strict minority in every way of both in terms of numbers and clearly intellectual firepower so that so i think that was a great realization that’s the slight negativity from thanks Esther so I think it was good to experience that as a man the the negativity then was of the the same realization a second later that wait a second I’ve heard such interesting stuff I’ve met such fascinating people already are i knew in a murine you but I hadn’t met the senator before but there’s so few men experiencing that and i think this question suggests exactly that there are other questions that are very similar to that which this idea that if we have this information if we believe what Esther said whether this there’s ass knowledge now there’s a realization yet if a lot of these reforms are going to be initiated by a group which is already empowered which is mostly men right now how do we get that change to happen how do we get younger boy so the questions about at an early age how do we get these views going so to be very interesting to hear from the parliamentarians what they’ve experienced in that as well again I think the parks under wonder contrast is fascinating for me just both of you are equally as impressive yet you seem to be in a very different stage in the industry go and so I think it’s extremely important to bring men on board if you look at the experience who I belong to a forum the women parliamentary forum of my country and initially it was dominated by the women for more epitaph occasions but recently we wanted to pass a bill on gender-based violence bill and among the women parliamentarians we agreed that this bill is going to be tabled by the men and so we started draw be within the parliament and the Senate to bring men on board and I know there were some the Ambassador swanee hunt had some researchers who were monitoring the gender based violence beer in Rwanda and was very interesting to see how we lined up men to defend the bill so the bill is not looked at as a woman’s bill and from that experience we’ve been rubbing the men to be to be the ones to initiate our bills and it’s working perfect and listened Lee we’ve actually received 18 request of members of parliament men from the Senate wanting to join the women caucus which is a big progress on our side and I would encourage members of parliament also to bring men on board you know because these issues are not women’s business these are this is a business for men and women to transform their society so I think the women is like if you look at experience we deliberately right at the beginning brought men on board and we have a number of small kind of gifts chairs when a man performs we’re on issues of gender we acknowledge them we tell them great so they didn’t know they are part of this struggle and they are part of this nation building process reflection we would encourage the women before you answer that if I made there’s actually a couple of questions which feed directly into this which I thought specifically to run though I thought if you could answer them and then we hear reviews there’s a sort of a bunch of mixed kind of comments over here and let me characterize them in the following way there’s a question in general that do we need women to represent women or can sort of do men and women represent both groups equally are there issues for instance that there’s questions about how do we think about a domestic violence rape in the Rondon context which seems to be at least the claim in the in the question is still fairly high despite the successes there’s questions about sort of promoting free and fair elections there’s also questions specifically to sort of gender promotional mechanisms and how do we get them so in characterizing in your

experience issues which you think are specific women versus issues which are not do you think is a differential and how you as a woman parliamentary and push them forward or do you get differential success in doing that do you feel confined to a particular role or do you feel like you’re more effective in a particular role yes I think if you look at the experience normally when you I elected at the district or the provincial level and reach a they come on an affirmative action or through a quota system and rejoin the Parliament you seems to represent the particular interest when you come on a woman’s ticket definitely advocate for women issues but you have the money to represent the bigger constituency and this was deliberately opted for a reconciliation purposes I’ll count from a particular province but I’m not going to go to the Senate and represent my constituency which is the case in us for us once you serve in the Senate you serve all the constituency you advocate for all the constituency to ensure that your voice is speaking for the whole country so that is the situation in our country but that does not stop the women parliamentary forum to focus on particular issues like the beer on gender-based violence was led by the women the bill on land reform was championed by the women the beer on women and children’s rights was championed by the women but in the process we bring the men on board so that has been the experience when you talk a bit more about the land reform because there’s a specific question on the inheritance part of it as well maybe on the inheritance this is one of the progressive laws that was passed by Parliament in 1999 who are the first parliament in the region to work on issues of family and property rights and for the first time this family the family law in our country allows girl children to inherit which traditionally will never happen in our culture for the first time this family bill allows women to select and choose the kind of matrimony regime that when whether they are going to join the property or separate their property then for the first time which is very very very different from our previous practice if a man died especially in 1995 after the genocide we had a lot of property disputes because women who had lost their husbands were either who had lost their husbands oh who didn’t have sons they are in rows and their father in laws were taking their property it’s like you have no right anymore in our home so that’s why the Parliament the community-based organizations the Association works very hard on this family bill so today the women of Wanda can inherit the women of the girls of Rhonda can inherit select we have a copper tunities between girls and boys on issues or property which is very progressive thank you so much senator that’s very nice of you so there also a series of questions I thought as you respond to the general discussion which also specific to to what you said and I think it these questions also range quite a bit but my sense is they’re feeding off the struggle sort of you clearly voiced in your talk I mean they range from sort of i think more depressing questions on the nature of you know are the advantages of being a woman in pakistan it seems to be a such a substantial uphill struggle the way you described it but also more reading questions relating to the ideology that you mentioned sort of how far do we have to dig deep into sort of the the feudal roots that you mentioned you had a narrative between how islam plays into sort of this background you alluded to separation of that somehow as being helpful so it’d be useful to hear at least in response to several these they’re also questions alluding to how minorities are protected in I assume by that they they meant not just it was it said minority women actually so I assume that both means sort of religious minorities in particular female religious minorities as well so if you want to comment on on these it’s very difficult right now and i believe that parsons political system does not encourage individual voice independent thinking or being articulate but and you not only the women but men are also on very conformist rules right now whatever your opinion is going against the dominant discourse religious discourse or going against the political leadership stance on certain issues it becomes very difficult but nevertheless i believe that the women of pakistan

have emerged zeno ordinance was something that was unbelievable impossible to repeal and it happened because of the civil society efforts it happened because of the women went to the parliament and each party and the women groups kept on pressing it was trying to bring board on board clinical leadership and we finally were able to repeal that and without a lot of public outcry so I believe that it is difficult to deal with the mindset but things have to change and are already we going through a very transitory period I believe that minorities the way the violence has prep is prevalent through cultural ideologies we’ve come to that point when each one of us is asking how what can we do on an individual level to change and I think this is very this is something new for me that the youth of pakistan the the people who r asylum majority who are not radical who are not oppressive or not who are literate and educated are willing to speak up now and I that that would be a big change for us if you are able to create space for debate create space to understand the other narratives now so they’re also questions about the role of journalism or I guess media in general but also grassroots women’s movements particularly in the Pakistani context do you have a view and on how that’s gone uh well the media we have lot of independence now and this was because of the legislation done by the Musharraf regime again but I see a lack of responsibility I see a lack of vision in the media as well and media has played a negative role in exploiting the cases against minorities and violence and is it does not it lacks the direction that we need from media at lacks the responsibility that we should believe that media should have but again I believe that these are the teething problems we are volva ng we are in transition and I believe that in the coming years at the coming months we’ll see I will see a change in the discourse so if I if I I know you saw hope I can do this and I put you in the spot a bit more you’ve heard from two different views there’s a view and research from India there’s a view on actual practice and in there wand and context based on these things are there things which you think are effect tip which you can transplant to the Pakistani context are they are there lessons to be learned here for the struggles that you’re going through or is there is a context that you have so different that it’s going to be dealt with in a very different way I think the vonda example is a great example for every country in the world how economic empowerment and representation in at all in important positions did change did bring a policy change the women of Pakistan even facing all these oppressive ideologies and religious radicalism we still been struggling we still did achieve four fundamental legal reforms and and we are extremely proud of that and just with the history of seven to eight years the reserved seats you know the we didn’t had this a proportional representation before that but i think that the Rwanda example is a great lesson for the world that if women are empowered and if women are brought it in brought into political positions important positions they do affect the policy is very effectively and this is something that I look forward into debug in parks and context thank you so much so Esther also sorry I’ve been monopolizing time I really am reflecting all the comments so I’m trying to be as much of a mirror as possible their questions also a lot about sort of your results as well in terms of the broad implications of these results for instance he doesn’t lead to general poverty alleviation there’s questions about honesty which I alluded to earlier the questions about you know what are women’s roles really going to be you know the questions about reservation for meal it seems like or at least equal reservation for male candidates as well so I so I was wondering whether first you wanted to respond to sort of these broader welfare questions from from your work but then also if they are indeed these broader welfare consequences you also present an effective group the poverty action lab whether there is an effort on your part it sort of get the message out if you will get these get these numbers out if that indeed can bring about change if that can arm sort of some of the struggles that that other countries are facing how are you going about doing that as well so currently there are the reservation for women is a one-third of the seats which means that it’s a it’s not quite a

reservation for men of two third because a woman can also win on unelected seats but because women are less likely to win the men that leads to about does it less than fifty percent of men but there is a movement in India to move to a 50-percent reservation which i think is actually a bad idea because then it means that then it’s like a fifty fifty plus some reservation for Warren like 50 personalization for men like men should not lose on the NSF’s it otherwise that’s kind of unfair to them so actually I think fifty percent reduction form and if a woman is very bad do we should leave at something less than fifty percent so that then the remaining seeds as seen as genuinely generally open haha I don’t think there is any single silver bullet to alleviate poverty and I don’t think women reservation is one of them since there are no such a bullet I think it’s a collection of the way you you fight against poverty and about the problems associated with poverty is to a number of things that can be microcredit that can be education that can be access to health and I think my our results you know when you put all of them together our success that having women making sure that women have a chance to to to say their piece in the political process is one part of this whole board agenda so I don’t think it’s going to you finish poverty next next next year or next decade but it can only be a part of any solution and that is something which you know we’ve learned progressively I think the most important thing in a waste it’s just this but what the senator also says that’s given that women are but as competent then it seems to make sense to have if it’s the voters the citizen have access to all of the put-put and people to lead them so that they can select the best from this lot so given that we do we are you know we are interested in in promoting these results that’s you know in a part why I’m here although of course since there are many women and I’m sure if we pulled most people here are in favor of having woman in politics that’s kind of a I think the first the previous question you ask is very important but we did try to to play a role and in a small part in in the debate about about the national reservation by informing policy brief for for people who prepare this brief for parliamentarians by weighing in a newspaper by making sure though the experience of the punctured was used in an international and effective way I think the only thing we can do from from the poverty action lab from being academics is to is to make sure that the evidence is is out there and that and then let the political process follow in its the evidence is fortunately or unfortunately just a part in in any political process any political decision there is the evidence there are the preferences of people there is the history culture or whatever all the other political constraint everything the only thing we can do is to make sure that the evidence is there and we we do try to do that by speaking up whenever we get a chance by trying to interact with people in in various positions of power is a soft power like media harder power like like policymakers and try to make sure that the the experience is out great I think we’re basically if there’s a comment either of the panelist wants to make otherwise we’re pretty much out of time is there any comments I just wanted to thank all the panelists for a very stimulating and exciting talk and thank you so much for being here yes thank you so much to our last set of panelists and too awesome for doing such an amazing job at moderating and asking thought-provoking questions and stimulating such an interesting discussion we’ve had a lot of food for thought the last day Anna half and and I for one have learned a lot and have appreciated the opportunity to see so many different perspectives and we’ve invited Jackie Baba to come up and give a summation and some reflections on what we’ve seen and heard the last couple of days Jackie is the Jeremiah Smith junior lecturer and law at the Harvard Law School the director of research of the

Francois xavi a bad mood Center for Health and Human Rights a lecturer on public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University advisor on human rights education to the Provost here at Harvard those are those are just the things she’s doing at Harvard you can look in this book for all of the things she’s doing elsewhere but we’re going to turn it over to her for a few minutes and then following her remarks Dean Barbara gross will give us a final set of thoughts and farewell Jackie thank you so much well after such a rich set of interactions I think my role is virtually impossible but I will keep it short and do my best I’ve really enjoyed the last day and a half enormously and I thought the most useful thing I could do was to make a very brief summary of I think some of the empirical things I’ve learnt very just a few bullets which I think we’re particularly interesting and stimulating and then conclude with a few comments about change because i think the real agenda here for all of us has been how do we move things forward how do we put the the knowledge the thoughts of creativity of these sort of work that people are presented to the service of a change of better developments for for women in in in the developing world so I thought I wouldn’t just try to synthesize some of the ideas that we’ve been presented with so in terms of the empirical findings and the evidence based there just five very quick bullets I thought worth highlighting just as sort of refresh our memory of the sort of feast of ideas that were being presented over the last day and a half apparently there are 40 million bare branches in China 40 million men who don’t have the prospect of finding corresponding women to marry and I think for me that was really a very stimulating thought the idea that there for two things must follow one that there has to be migration there has to be some sort of movement unless these men are going to remain single and secondly presumably that at some point women are going to be valued more if they are so scarce then there is something about this dynamic which suggests some sort of change round the corner found that a very stimulating thought secondly I thought it was very interesting to learn that despite what some governments Inc filipina hostesses in Japan reject the label of victims of trafficking that they don’t find it to be useful or protective but they find it to be inhibiting and I thought that that raised some very interesting questions about the relationship between policy makers often well-intentioned policy makers in our countries and women workers in other countries who are trying to make a living really as I think Esther said who are we to decide how people make a living and how does the anti-trafficking agenda match and map on to the rights of some of the most vulnerable and the poorest women in the world I thought that was an interesting issue that came up related to that thirdly we learned from the spokesperson from the State Department that 74 million dollars a year are spent on the anti-trafficking budget again that is an enormous figure when you think about the results on the ground this is an error actually working and I know that the protective visas for women who have been trafficked to the US are not dispensed in anything like the numbers we might expect from that figure less than 500 women in total have benefited from the so-called TV though trafficking visa so it’s interesting to see this mismatch if you like between this very generous allocation of public funds to address an issue on the one hand and on the other hand some of the problems on the ground fourthly and I think this is probably my number one prize for something I had no idea about I’d never thought about in this way one and a half million women and children are killed every year by cooking with solid fuels now i work in india and i knew that collecting firewood firewood was a bad thing but i didn’t realize that it was such a killer and maybe many of you did i found that an absolutely revelatory fact a stunning fact that this chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder a disease takes this sort of human toll and of course as the speaker said it continues to take this

toll because of who the victims are those at the bottom of the pile so for me that was a really interesting new way of looking at poverty looking at poverty as something that correlates with the sorts of ways in which people make their food what could be more basic and lastly I thought it was very interesting to learn that from from the colleague from the World Bank that poverty is a much more significant element than gender in explaining the impact of differential school enrolment that is poverty not gender primarily that drives that differential of course gender is also a factor and as he quite rightly pointed out it’s the the are multifactorial you can’t just impinge on one element but I thought that was a given a very interesting comment particularly given the emphasis of so much education work so let me turn briefly to some of the answers that were given to the big question how does change happen how do new things if you like come into our world and I think we were presented with two very interesting models not mutually exclusive of course the top down and the bottom up and I really do want to commend the organizers for bringing a fantastic cast of speakers to speak to both these models so the top-down model we heard very unforgettably of course from the vice president of Malawi about the way in which she’s used her position of influence as a politician to make change happen and to really influence the the future of her country and I think all of us will remember the examples that she gave of actually persuading the Chiefs but one of the most interesting things I thought was the comment she made about the sexual initiation where she said she went to the Chiefs and talk to them to ask them whether they had indeed stopped using sexual initiation because it was now widely accepted to be so harmful and the chief said yes and then a little girl piped up and said no actually I myself were subjected to this and so what she demonstrated was the creative use of different techniques from her position her vantage point of power to try to stimulate change from within and I thought that was an interesting observation so that was an elected official but we also heard from the colleague from Amman about the impact of of a royal leader as the Sultana Valon who presume he was not elected but who inherited his job the enormous impact that some of his progressive ideas on education have had on his country and in a similar vein we heard from several speakers from post-conflict situations the speaker from Columbia and just now from the senator from Rwanda about the changes that have been wrought top down again by elected representatives with very strong ideas about education about gender equality and so on and lastly though a negative example we heard just now from humaira the example of Pakistan how negative of course and we know this only too well change can also happen top down so she spoke about the Duggars and the very negative changes in Islamic legal provisions that resulted so a very rich diet there of top-down changes I think bottom up we also heard some extraordinary stories about change from the bottom up and let me just mention the most a few which I think are symptomatic so of course save us roll the self-employment Association from India their role is rightly I think legendary we heard about this incredible model of organizing and using leadership from the bottom up to make change on a whole enormous spectrum of different areas which impact women not just financial autonomy but health insurance education so a very multifaceted very ambitious agenda driven by organizing by union work if you like union trade unionism is seems to be a dirty word in America at the moment but we had a wonderful example I think from from the spokesperson from Seaver about the incredible impact that this bottom-up mechanism has secondly we heard about change bottom-up change driven by by opportunity and driven by ideas Robert Jensen’s data I think on introducing the notion that there were opportunities for work in call centers all that exposure to cable television and two different

ideas about gender relations could bring visible change I think was was interesting something that we probably know but I think it were his data was very interesting just introducing a new element in a community like the notion that girls can get jobs in call centers can change a whole set of other variables thirdly we heard about the power driven change but power not in the sense we’ve just been talking about it but in the sense of the radio and I thought that was a great example and the suggestion that maybe having access to a radio in Sudan had an impact on the referendum I thought was actually convincing and plausible so that’s an amazing demonstration of how just if you like one person as kind of commitment and vision and single-minded dedication to an issue can actually have a huge impact of course we heard a lot just now about political organizing and the impact the political organizing from the bottom can have whether it’s repealing there’s in our ordinance whether it’s creating a different political climate and last did I suppose most relevantly for us in this space we heard about the power of knowledge and the difference that well presented well thought through data can have on making certain facts on the ground known it’s course it’s always up to people then to decide what they do with them but having those facts is essential so let me just conclude by saying i think that there’s a lot of consensus that that there are many mechanisms for achieving political change but there was some interesting differences to differences which i’m sure the Radcliffe Institute in the wise hands of the Dean will carry forward to other future such discussions and let me just mention a couple is anti-trafficking a good agenda or not should we be switching to salt from solid fuels when we don’t know how sustainable it is we don’t know whether people can continue to afford to pay for electricity or four batteries what impact do women leaders have is it necessarily a good impact we’ve all of us had experience of bad impacts from women leaders to so how much do we really know about that and finally in probably most crucially what are the ingredients of political and how do we change it I think these are some of the issues that we still have ahead of us and so I look forward to many other opportunities to learn about them Thank you Thank You Jackie well as Bridget said we have had an extraordinary day and a half the talks the dialogue your questions have told us a lot about what people are doing in the world and the scholarship that measures the effectiveness of them earlier this week we hosted a visit by anna deavere smith the actor playwright and oral historian who is so well known for the plays that are drawn from her interviews with people she said about a decade ago in my own performances I was always grateful to get a standing ovation but what if instead they jumped to their feet and said what can we do I have been touched as I walked through this room and downstairs by the number of people who have told me that they not only learned a great deal here but they had new collaborations they had new research to do they thought of new scholarship and there were new actions that they were going to take so my deep thanks to the speakers the moderators and to all of you in the audience for what you have taught us and for what you go forth to do thank you you