ISLAMABAD: The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) has urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to declare the results of recent local government by-election in Upper Dir tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa null and void as women of the area were denied their right to vote.
The elections were held in Darora Union Council on Dec 21.
The NCSW has raised the demand in a statement issued on Sunday after reports that one day before the polls, the local leaders of all religious and liberal political parties reached a verbal agreement to bar women from casting their votes. Among 17,201 registered voters in the area, 6,813 are women. As per agreement, no woman polled vote in the elections.
“The NCSW strongly condemns this violation of basic women’s right in Upper Dir. It was unfortunate that political parties from right and left school of thought agreed to stop women from casting their vote despite the fact that the result of any such election would be declared null and void under the law,” the statement reads.
The commission has urged the leadership of all political parties, which were part of the agreement, to take notice of the situation and take action against those involved so that such practice is not repeated in future.
Moreover women parliamentarians have also been asked to take up the issue in the parliament as well as within their parties and condemn the act at every level as democratic process remains incomplete without women’s participation.
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2017