EC reminds 40 political parties to ensure 33% female membership –

Election Commission Secretary Mohammad Abdullah said the EC took the decision to send letters to the parties as they noticed a ‘slow progress’ in fulfilling the registration obligation introduced in 2008.

As per section 90-‘kha’ of the Representation of the People Order, party membership should comprise 33 percent women, and the target must be achieved by 2020.

However, the parties are far behind from reaching the target at present, he said.

“They are holding regular councils as per the party constitution, and the letters were sent as a humble reminder,” he told adding that EC will serve letters to the general secretaries of the parties soon. As per the rule, the committees should have 33 percent female representations.

A researcher from the department of development studies at Dhaka University said Awami League, BNP and Jatiya Party would fail in fulfilling that obligation as they have only 11 percent female members. The picture in the grassroots was even disappointing, the findings showed.

The letters were served before a dialogue scheduled in the last week of July when the political parties would sit with the Commission to discuss various issues including amendment of election law.

The time may be extended if the target is not achieved within the deadline, former Election Commissioner Mohammed Sohul Hossain said.