International NGO Journal

  • Abbreviation: Int. NGOJ
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8225
  • DOI: 10.5897/INGOJ
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 265

Full Length Research Paper

Gender and local governance in Pakistan: Representation vs. participation

Nasira Jabeen1* and Muhammad Zafar Iqbal Jadoon2
  1Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, Post-Doctoral Research, South Asia Institute, University of Austin at Texas, USA. 2Institute of Administrative Sciences, Former Dean, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 28 April 2008
  •  Published: 31 May 2009



Women’s participation in governance is extremely important for an even human resource development, poverty alleviation and good governance. In, Pakistan, a concerted and collaborated effort has been made in this regard by providing women 33% representation in local governance through the current local government ordinance, 2000. However, the traditional cultural values and societal norms that ascribe women domestic roles and accord them a lower status as compared to men are not compatible with their professional roles in politics. These cultural norms are reflected in the systemic, organizational and personal practices and constrain their participation in governance. The paper applying a holistic gender, organization system (GOS) perspective analyzes the diverse societal, institutional and individual factors that account for low participation of women in governance in Pakistan. Since women’s passive representation in governance has critical implications for gender sensitive legislation, resource allocation, utilization of human resources and poverty reduction the paper recommends measure such as review of LG policies; gender awareness and mainstreaming, capacity building, networking and mentoring etc. to facilitate their effective participation.


Key Words: Gender, local governance, representation, participation, Pakistan.