Political parties neglect ECP’s women’s representation clause

Pakistani women

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: Political parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have failed to adhere to the Election Act, specifically regarding the issuance of five percent tickets to women for the provincial assembly. According to documents, major parties, including Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), have not met the mandated allocation.

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The breakdown of women’s representation in KP Assembly tickets reveals that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Parliamentarians (PTI-P) issued 8.3 per cent, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) allocated 10 per cent, and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) allotted 6.3 per cent to women candidates. However, MQM did not nominate any women, and both JI and JUI-F fell short of the stipulated 5 per cent.

The issue extends beyond KP, as the Aurat Foundation has written to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) highlighting the non-implementation of the Election Act by major political parties nationwide. The letter underscores that all parties, excluding PML-N and MQM, violated Section 206, which mandates a 5 per cent representation of women in both National and Provincial Assemblies.

PMLN and MQM are reported to have nominated 9.5 per cent and 7.8 per cent women candidates, respectively, for the National Assembly. Meanwhile, PPP issued tickets to 4.4 per cent, Jamaat-e-Islami to 4.3 per cent, and ANP to 3.3 per cent women candidates.

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The letter from the Aurat Foundation also reveals the number of women candidates nominated by each party across the country. MQM nominated 7 women out of 73, PMLN nominated 16 out of 205, PPP nominated 11 out of 245, Jamaat-e-Islami nominated 10 out of 229, and Awami National Party (ANP) nominated 2 out of 60. Notably, TLP nominated 2 women out of 220, while BNP and JUIF did not issue any tickets to women.

Despite National Assembly tickets being issued to 227 women across the country, the letter emphasises the urgent need for political parties to ensure compliance with the Election Act, fostering greater gender inclusivity in the democratic process.

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