Pakistan Struggles to Increase Women’s Participation in Politics and ElectionsDespite Pakistan’s historic achievement in having a female head of government, women’s right to engage in politics has been restricted and disregarded in the country. Women, who make up more than half of the population, are still facing cultural barriers and patriarchal beliefs that prevent them from exercising their constitutional right to free and equal participation in decision-making and governance.
According to a study by a non-governmental organization (NGO), only 18.2% of women cast their ballots in the 2018 general elections, while men’s participation stood at 32.6%. The lack of women’s participation in the electoral process, especially in rural areas, can be attributed to various factors. Firstly, rural women are not aware of their rights and the importance of voting. Secondly, many women are hesitant to disagree with male family members out of fear of social shame.
Experts believe that more women’s participation in elections is crucial to encourage larger participation at the grassroots level. The government needs to take decisive action to simplify the voting process and encourage women’s participation in politics. The government can take several measures to increase women’s participation, such as providing free transportation to polling stations, offering help and educational programs for voters, and setting up polling stations in easily accessible areas.
To ensure that women’s voices are heard in the decision-making process, the government should also work towards changing cultural beliefs that prevent women from participating in politics and the electoral process, thereby allowing them to freely exercise their democratic right.In conclusion, there is a dire need for Pakistan to prioritize women’s participation in politics and elections, as it is vital for a healthy democracy. The government must take immediate action to remove barriers that prevent women from exercising their constitutional right to vote and participate in the decision-making process.