PESHAWAR, May 17: The last Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was dominated by political activists but the one thrown up by the May 11 elections is going to have some experienced professional women.
Previously, most members elected on reserved seats for women were political workers.
However, the women named by political parties on their respective priority lists for reserved seats for the forthcoming provincial assembly include those, who not only have political backgrounds but are also known for their professional expertise.
Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, who is likely to become an MPA on reserved seat of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, is a familiar face compared with other women on the priority lists of political parties.
She is a senior professor of paediatrics, who remained the provincial health minister from February to December 2002.
Her name is the second on the priority list for reserved seats for women after the president of the provincial PTI women wing, Naseem Hayat.
Dr Roghani is member of the executive council of the PTI women wing.
Qaumi Watan Party, which is part of the PTI-led coalition government in the province, has also named some known faces for seats reserved for women.
Among them is Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, who was known for fiery political oratory during her student days at University of Peshawar.
She was elected an MPA in 1988 and later became a senator and state minister in the Musharraf government.
Ms Tahirkheli has been with Qaumi Watan Party, which was recently renamed PPP-Sherpao, since its creation.
A committed party member and a trusted companion of her leader Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, she is currently the central secretary general of QWP.
Second on the QWP priority list for reserved seats for women is noted educationist Meraj Hamayun. As an educationist, she has successfully run a private school but later began a nongovernmental organisation, De Las Gul, for the child rights’ protection.
She has also been heading an NGO, Ittehad. She first joined Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf but later switched to QWP.
Ms Hamayun has a vast experience in the field of education and nongovernmental development sector.
Some former women MPAs from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl stand chance of becoming legislators again.
Naeema Kishwar, who is from Mardan and has a degree in Islamic law, was quite active MPA during the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government from 2002 to 2007 in the province.
Currently, she awaits the party decision on whether to be a member of the provincial or National Assembly.
She said she had not wasted last five years as she had engaged with women.
“This time around, my focus will be on implementation of laws passed by the previous assembly on women issues,” she said.
Uzma Khan, of Dir, has been an MPA in the previous assembly from 2008 to 2013.
She had not moved any draft of legislation in the previous assembly saying she belonged to the opposition benches and was a member on a reserved seat, so she did not have much opportunity to actively participate in the proceedings.
In case she becomes a member of the opposition benches yet again, only time will tell whether she makes any useful contribution to the legislative business this time around.
Yasmin Pir Mohammad Khan, who has been given preference to other committed women workers in the ANP priority list, is likely to become a member on one of the reserved seats for women for the third consecutive time.
Ms Yasmin, who belongs to an old Khudai Khidmatgaar family from Charsadda and married to a scion of a political family from Swat, has never moved any draft law in the assembly nor has she ever spoken on women issues in the House.
She spoke only once in the assembly and that, too, on the last day of the 2002-2007 provincial assembly session to thank her colleagues.
The last assembly, which remained in place from 2008 to 2013, had some women, who were political workers. However, the new House will not only have political workers and professionals but also some former legislators.