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What women voters want


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Part two of “Voters’ voice” focuses on what expectations female voters have from the government which will be formed as a result of the May 11 polls. Pakistan has a total of 37, 560, 654 registered female voters in the coming general elections, a number of whom face several issues mostly on account of predefined and rigid gender roles.

The videos below answer a few questions as to what women may be looking for from the future government and who they would want to represent them.

Click on each video to watch them in a larger size

The fallen matriarch

Karachi famously derives its name from a fisherwoman ‘Mai Kolachi’. In the past, women played a vital role in the country’s fishing villages. However, with time things have changed and so have the roles of women living in fishing communities. Now, these women are confined to performing roles within the house as opposed to working along the men of these communities.

Watch Aziza and Tahira, who hail from Ibrahim Hyderi, recall the days when they used to join their brothers and fathers on fishing excursions and how all of that has changed. The dynamics of this sociological change are mainly because of migration of these communities on account of economic and environmental policies. Although, these women have traditionally voted for PPP as others have in their villages, they seem to have other ideas this time around.

The budding politician

Alizeh Haider left a high-paying job in Dubai to move back to Pakistan and contest in the elections. She is among the few chosen by Pakistan Peoples Party for reserved seats for women. Daughter of former lawmaker Iqbal Haider, not only does Alizeh want to carry forward her father’s human rights work, she also has a few ideas of her own. Watch the video to know more about Alizeh’s vision if she becomes an MNA.

The breadwinner

Noor Fatima never got to study after her matriculation – something she regrets – and her daughters have had the same fate. After 15 years of marriage, her husband lost his business and Fatima had to become the family’s breadwinner. Taking a stand against those who were against her working, Fatima became a cook, shuttling from one house to the other, at times working 14 hours a day.

Getting a job also meant applying for a National Identity Card, which made her an eligible voter for the first time. With the elections coming up, she has decided to vote, for the first time. Watch the video to see who she supports and why.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Comments (50) Closed

Naila Apr 11, 2013 10:24am
[Alizeh Haider left a high-paying job in Dubai to move back to Pakistan] for a "much, much, much higher" paying job of a would-be (God forbid) PPP MNA.
Samar Apr 11, 2013 11:01am
The breadwinner is such a true and sincere representation of her class. She seemed so genuine and real.
endcorrupt Apr 11, 2013 11:17am
Well said Naila, if Alizeh had any integrity, she would know that all her partners in the party are playboy thieves. Excuse us if we are pushed to believe the same abotu her.
Samar Apr 11, 2013 11:19am
Of course The budding politician is the worst representation, I do not find one sincere part in here. 'Coming from political patriotic family'!!? What us non-political poor working lot can't be patriotic. Love the Fallen matriarch also. They still seem hopeful behind all the issues.
Iqbal Apr 11, 2013 11:44am
another family politician in our "democratic" Pakistan
Naeem Malik Apr 11, 2013 11:46am
I think the cook is really inspirational in what she says about woman - She should be the MNA - not the woman who thinks the ball is heading in the right direction
Osman Apr 11, 2013 11:50am
Lol... couldn't agree with you more.
Kdspirited Apr 11, 2013 01:57pm
All three stories are representative of the political stories in our country. The daughter of an EX politiciian who thinks its her god given right to contest on one of the designated seats in the national assembly. She needs to earn her way there and not assume she will get there. The fishermans story is the most heart wrenching since it shows the demoralization of our society. Where women were encouraged to work shoulder to shoulder with their men. Now are forced to sit at home and suffer in silence. And lastly the cook who has been forbidden by her husband to educate her daughters. Why do patriarchs have the right to stop their daughets from getting educated? These men should be put behind bars. Education should be mandatory for all children in our country and punishable by law if witheld.
kamran Apr 11, 2013 02:34pm
very well said
Xulf Apr 11, 2013 02:47pm
I think the women should now be given the reigns to run this planet. We, the men, have brought it to a point where there is a real existential threat to all of us. We are not wired to be as compassionate as women and we need to have a lot of that around to survive
Khawer Apr 11, 2013 02:58pm
Well said Naila. She want's to carry forward her father's legacy of human right's work...what a joke! You don't need to be an MNA to carry that forward...who you kidding Alizeh??
iqbal Apr 11, 2013 03:09pm
would some body ask rural men and women what they expect from the candidates and if they would vote for the current members or their close relatives who have done nothing the alleviate their sufferings.
Nida Apr 11, 2013 04:17pm
Interview of Alizeh Haider is a JOKE! People are dying of starvation, crime rate is at its peak, inflation is skyrocketing, citizens of other countries refuse to visit Pakistan, and the list goes on and on; however, according to her: "her government is going in the right direction". But then again, can you blame her? Her world doesn't exist beyond the trips to first world countries, air conditioned rooms, luxury cars, and a parade of servants around her. My sympathies with her though, for all those years wasted in acquiring a degree did nothing to literate her. :) Signed An Overseas Pakistani Woman.
Malik Zameer Hassan Awan Apr 11, 2013 05:25pm
some one like Alizeh Iqbal haider an intellectual Young lady and then a gem from lawyers community should be welcomed in politics.
Loser4sure Apr 11, 2013 05:32pm
I am such a sucker for hot female politicians!!! if people can sell their vote for one plate of Biryani..i can for sure surrender my vote to Alizeh Haider....
Kashif Humayun Apr 11, 2013 05:45pm
Heart-warming to see educated, young people like Barrister Alizeh Haider joining politics. We hear people go on and on about politicians and politics and how dirty and corrupt it is. But we ought to to appreciate young people like Alizeh joining in and trying to make a difference. Remember that for the first time we are genuinely moving from one elected government to another and for a country like Pakistan its a significant step. Also its worth noting that PPP continues to encourage women politicians, proving itself to be a progressive political party.
Chaigram Apr 11, 2013 05:46pm
Give her a chance, it is not fair to paint everyone with the same brush. No one person is the same as, neither all are different. She is a very talented person and Pakistan needs talented women.
Saad Apr 11, 2013 07:13pm
This is her right to stand as a politician, however, we should reserve our judgement after she will be in power.
Sohail Pirzada Apr 11, 2013 11:30pm
Proud of you Alizeh Haider! Thanx only to PPP for the democracy in Pakistan creating an environment in which masses can voice their opinion! Pakistan with Democracy first and party affiliation second.
Ayesha Apr 12, 2013 01:16am
Very well made documentaries! Too the point and poignant
Yawar Apr 12, 2013 01:43am
How many times have we heard, we will improve our education system, we will have one unified education system, we will spend more on education, etc. etc. But no one explains how they will improve it, what that one unified system would be, or how much and from where they would get the additional funds. Aliza Haider needs to understand that wanting something and actually doing something are two different things. If she wants to serve Pakistan then let her establish a few free schools for poor kids and run them for sometime before trying to get into politics on her fathers name.
shah Apr 12, 2013 02:07am
You like or not she will be MNA hook or by crook, she has all the blessing of Kings.
miramshah(USA) Apr 12, 2013 03:42am
Would have been much nicer for Noor Fatima to have been given the chance to be in parliament by the feudal/industrial complex. Nay, it has to be a westernized, Islam bashing, pseudo intellectual come in through the back door of politics using her lineage. Here we go again. BTW, Angela Merkel refused to allow a quota for German women to be represented in the parliament. Her contention....It would destroy merit and eventually lead to destruction of the great German nation. Now thats a woman I ll vote for.
Mohsin Apr 12, 2013 04:50am
Ok effort, but HORRIBLE editing. Jump-cuts are a cardinal sin in doc/interview editing. Learn to utilize your b-roll properly. Please attend some editing courses.
Sandeep Kumar Apr 12, 2013 07:18am
we believe that women like Alizah Haider, will make good legislation for Women rights. She is daughter of an intellectual who had served the Party and worked so much on Human' rights. Thanks to PPP for chosen such a educated women!
Latif Apr 12, 2013 09:46am
If a pakistani person who left a high-paying job in foreing to move back to Pakistan, should be highly welcomed! She has come to serve the People. Being barrister, she would make good legislation for those marganlized women of society who had been suffering from decades!
Mudassir Hussain Apr 12, 2013 09:49am
great lines!! like it!
DharmendraGoel Apr 12, 2013 12:00pm
Noor Fatima isonewho hasreared herfamily working from her neighbourhoodworking as cook for heraffluent neighboursand educate her Daughters to pick a life worth something better than the oppressed fate of honest to God working mother Noor. Any lover of such sincere honest person as Noor would earn appreciation of L overs of Pakistani Society to better perspectives in coming generations,to be sure. D. Goel
Naila Apr 12, 2013 12:04pm
Scathing but so true!
Shaheen khan afridi Apr 12, 2013 01:36pm
The use of appropraitive language is necessary for every comment and it is not good if all things can see in one scenario. Its not her fault if her father was in a party. I think its a good sign and every case has to be examine in a single case basis. Good Luck Aliza
Najia Cheema Apr 12, 2013 01:38pm
I think only critiscism is not the way. Why don't we can see the positive side of an event. Aliza haider's father was belonged to a middle class educated family so its not right if anyone blame her for dynasity politics. Its easy to say but hard to do.
Shereen Kakar Apr 12, 2013 01:41pm
I am sorry to see the comments few people used for women. Its a bitter turth but here its easy to use bad language for women. I am sorry Aliza
Mr Khan Apr 12, 2013 02:14pm
I under line your effort being women felt Once Gandhi said. "First People will Ignore you then they will lough on you in the end they will fight you and you will Win"
Nadia Janjua Apr 12, 2013 02:46pm
Why not we have seen her arrival as a Good Sign. She is Young, Well Educated and Able. His father was also famous for his True Performance as a Lawyer, Politician and Human Right Defender/Activist and the important thing is that Mr Iqbal Haider belong to a Middle Class Family. I feel sorry when I have read the comments with bad language special for a Girl. I think we all shown our-self, our families by our writing here.
samreen shah Apr 12, 2013 02:58pm
i am very glad to see such a educated women on ppp Platform Alizeh keep it up the good work
Nadia Janjua Apr 12, 2013 03:00pm
Why not we have seen her arrival as a Good Sign. She is Young, Well Educated and Able. His father was also famous for his True Performance as a Lawyer, Politician and Human Right Defender/Activist and the important thing is that Mr Iqbal Haider belong to a Middle Class Family. I feel sorry when I have read the comments with bad language special for a Girl. I think we all shown our-self, our families by our writing here.
Taimur Mehsud Apr 12, 2013 03:03pm
Welcome Aliza I am happy that an Educated lady is join Politics. Don't Care for Losers who have only tool of using abusive language
Faisal Sami Dehlvi Apr 12, 2013 03:21pm
Please Please Don't use Bad Language, Its internet and you show yourself to all world. Why few people think that they have right to blame everyone. Aliza Haider Welcome and I hope an Educated lady like you will do good for your nation
Sohail Sami Dehlvi Apr 12, 2013 03:36pm
Pakistan Peoples Peoples has credit to initiate the historic events like First Women Bank, First Women Police Station & etc............ Welcome Aliza Haider WIsh you Good Luck
Mehreen Sami Dehlvi Arain Apr 12, 2013 03:39pm
An Educated lady like Aliza is like an positive addition and like a New hope. Welcome
Adil Sami Dehlvi Arain Apr 12, 2013 03:46pm
One have to do with other what you want and expect from others for you. Please Be Positive in all conditions. Everyone is happy & good in Good conditions. but It is not easy to be Positive and Good in Worst Conditions Please do something practically instead of blaming
Sue Sturgess Apr 12, 2013 04:09pm
Pakistan has a population of approximately 180 million people. Statistically one could expect half of these to be female. Surely one could not expect 90 million females to think the same way! No one would promote a headline of "What do male voters want", because different men want different things ... and so it is for women!
Rashid Qureshi Apr 12, 2013 04:37pm
I take it as a new addition and another point of hope for Pakistan Politics. I think Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as a young chairman of his party make a team of Young Educated People which is a good sign. Welcome Aliza
Rashid Qureshi Apr 12, 2013 04:39pm
Why don't you examine every case on individual basis. Be positive
Yawar Apr 12, 2013 04:40pm
Degree, family background, looks and being able to fluently speak in English mean nothing. If Alizeh Haider is elected because of these facets, and in Pakistan that is very possible, then she will be useless as no one, especially men, will take her seriously. To be worthwhile, one has to go through the process of living like and with the people and serving them before entering politics.
Jahangir Aaijaz Durrani Apr 12, 2013 04:41pm
Why some people think that every politician is bad. in my humble view its good to have politician like Aliza. and its good that a young chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party make a team of Young and educated people
Naila Apr 12, 2013 05:10pm
That lawyers' community you refer to is now called lawyers' 'mafia'.
Yawar Apr 12, 2013 10:45pm
Politicians dont serve people, they serve themselves, their families and their friends. If Alizeh wants to serve the people of Pakistan then she should establish and run a maternity ward or a high standard subsidized school for the poor.
KR Apr 13, 2013 02:22am
Atleast your politicians are good looking to begin with.... unlike the bad looking, corrupt ones we have inherited in India:) Good luck to Pakistan. I hope your country does well. Long live Pakistan
shereen Apr 13, 2013 09:14am
noor fatma i couldn't agree more with you. a girl learns about life and living it when she is exposed to world outside the house. and you are part of the less than half economically active population of pakistan. teach your girls to be like you, courageous, straighforward and positive. if every auntie i know could think like you!