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Who stops Pakistani women to Vote ?


A women cast her vote in a polling station


Who stops Pakistani women to Vote ?

 

Women's suffrage  ( is the right of women to vote and to run for office) has been achieved at various times in various countries throughout the world. In many countries women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women (and men) from certain classes or races were still unable to vote, while some granted it to both sexes at the same time. According to a timeline lists years when women's suffrage was enacted in various places.

Pakistan declared independence on the 14th of August 1947. In 1956 right to vote extended to national level, previously only literate women could vote,  yes according to Constitution of Pakistan women can vote,  they have equal rights - but in certain areas men do not allow them to go outside of the house to cast their vote. Women may face two distinct barriers to exercising their right to vote. First, costs of participation may be too high. Traditions or cultural stereotypes may discourage the exercise. Second, women may have fewer or poorer sources of information about the significance of political participation or the balloting process.  women are often not registered as voters because they face opposition from male household heads and that female turnout is low because women lack knowledge about the electoral system and about voting. wish to read more, click here.

Women constitute for more than fifty percent of the population of Pakistan. Their participation in the elections is vital to ensure election of right candidate. However if one looks at the women participation in the past elections a sad reality comes to light that their participation has been less than expected. The women in urban areas have to some extent participated in the elections and casted their votes however the percentage has been quite low. Even the highly educated women often stay away from casting their vote. In the rural areas the situation is even worse. Either the women do not cast their votes at all or they act on the advice of the male members of the family. This way often not so deserving candidates get elected and deserving ones lose. The low voter turnaround among women voters is further highlighted by the fact that in 2008 elections average male voter turnaround in the country was almost 49.8% while in women voters it was almost 39.7%.

Women really want to go outside but they're not allowed to. They are dependent on men. In big cities it is different but in some areas, traditions are very strong so they can't.

There are two very different realities. There are women who have become prominent figures in every field of life. They are ministers, members of national and provincial assemblies and political leaders, but on the other hand, there are other women who are the most oppressed class of society. There are many areas in the country where women are deprived from their right of casting votes including Mardan, Shangla and other area like Mianwali.  A modern history states that elders and religious leaders attempted to prevent female participation by threatening punishment against tribesmen whose women registered, leading to under-registration in the female population. In 2008, the Taliban ordered women in the FATA regions of Bajaur, Kurram and Mohmand not to vote under threat of "serious punishment," while Mangal Bagh, chief of the Lashkar-e-Islam, forbade women to vote in the Jamrud and Bara subdivisions of the Khyber Agency. Not only in KPK or tribal areas wherever we have feudal system or have a low or no literacy rate women not allowed to poll.

watch the video
 



A very good article to read about women polling, click here to read.

Dear readers, please feel free to write your comments as well as your suggestion to increase percentage of women voters in Pakistan.






About Author

Fahmina Arshad is Blogger, Social Media Activist, Women Rights activist, women rights defender, feminist, women issues advisor and ambitious to work for Women Growth in Pakistan.

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