Electoral process: Call for greater role for women

Significant percentage of women in K-P do not cast their votes due to cultural and social barriers.


Mahwish Qayyum December 23, 2011

PESHAWAR:


Despite an increased number of women in the parliament and senate, they do not enjoy equal opportunities in the electoral process in the country, in particular in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).


This was the crux of a three-day seminar on ‘Women Empowerment through Democratic Equality’ organised by Philantrophe, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with ActionAid, on Thursday. Philantrophe Chairman Syed Yousaf Shah and Uzma from Khwendo Kor, a women’s rights organisation, were of the view that women are underrepresented in the political system. They said a significant percentage of women in K-P do not cast their votes due to parda (veil) and called for breaking cultural and social barriers which bar women from participating in the electoral process. They also called upon the government to increase the number of girls’ schools and control their dropout rate.

Speakers suggested the government register women voters, set up separate polling stations for them, strengthen women’s representation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas in upper and lower houses and allocate a 33 per cent quota for women in political parties’ elected committees.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2011.

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