A member of Balochistan Assembly, who was removed from the Assembly session for bringing her child with her, says she would run a campaign for setting up daycare centres in assemblies and department.
MPA Mahjabeen Sheran says it was necessary to establish daycare centres in assemblies and government departments to facilitate working women to continue their jobs.
In an interview with Al Jazeera TV Sheran said that she was torn between attending the session and staying home taking care of my son.
“So, I decided to bring my son because I didn’t want to miss the session.”
She called for respecting those women who work and also take care of their household. It is not easy and we face challenges on a daily basis.
Sheran is from Balochistan’s Kech district and became a member of the assembly in 2018 on a reserved seat for women. She said it was the “worst” situation for her when she had to decide between taking care of her son and attending work.
“I felt embarrassed because some men in the session were making jokes and smirking about me bringing my son. At that point, I looked for someone to stand up for me and support me, but no one did,” she said.
Several times in the past, Sheran had requested the assembly’s secretary for a spare room to turn it into a daycare facility. Her request was denied repeatedly.
The legislator is now seeking support from political leaders and activists to establish daycare facilities in government offices and assemblies.
She said she will also propose a bill to allow mothers to bring babies to the assemblies and “to share the experiences of working mothers with men”.
A daycare centre was inaugurated in Parliament House in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad two years ago.
“How can a country succeed when the most important part of the society [women] are treated this way? Such incidents discourage women of this country from succeeding and being independent,” Mumtaz Mughal, the regional director of Aurat Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works on women’s rights and gender equality, told Al Jazeera.