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ISLAMABAD, Feb 27: The National Commission on Status of Women has expressed outrage that women were barred from casting their votes in Mardan and Mianwali during the recently-held by-elections and called upon the provincial governments to hold an inquiry into the matter.

In a statement issued here on Monday, the commission condemned the act of preventing women from exercising their right of franchise in Mardan and Mianwali at a number of polling stations.

The NCSW regretted that women in Pakistan were still deprived of their basic democratic, political and economic rights.

It said that the move by two political parties to stop women from exercising their right to vote would exacerbate the diminishing socio-economic condition of women. It also negated the Article 34 of the Constitution, it said.

The NCSW said the commission had been reminding the Election Commission to take action against the political parties which were indulging in such illegal and inhuman agreements and practices.

It said it was regrettable that nothing tangible had been done so far by the Election Commission and women continued to suffer at the hands of patriarchal forces.

It regretted that political representatives had joined hands with patriarchal forces in the region to marginalise and politically isolate women.

This is condemnable in absolute terms and women of the country would hit back.

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