UPPER DIR: The election commission has set up 66 separate polling stations for about 179,280 registered women voters in Upper Dir district, who are going to use their right to franchise on July 25 first time since the general elections in the 70s.

The district has a total of 447,414 registered voters.

Since the 70s the women had been deprived of using their constitutional right on the pretext of cultural taboos.

However, after the election commission made it mandatory that elections in a constituency would be declared null and void if 10 per cent women do not cast vote, the political parties are making efforts to ensure women participation in the elections.

Keeping in view cultural taboos and values, the district election commission has set up 66 separate polling stations for women out of total 377 for NA-5 constituency.

According to the district election commission, in PK-10, Upper Dir-I, total number of registered voters is 150,518, where 123 polling stations will be set up with 278 polling booths -- 166 for men and 112 for women.

In PK-11, Upper Dir-II, for 148,913 voters, including 61,552 women, 125 polling stations have been set up with 266 polling booths -- 164 for men and 102 for women.

In PK-12, Upper Dir-III, a total of 147,983 registered voters, including 58,572 females, will cast their votes in 129 polling stations with 300 polling booths -- 183 for men and 117 for women.

In the 2013 general elections, there were total 368,035 registered voters in the district, which increased to 447,414 in 2018.

The ECP data shows that the most number of voters increased in PK-10 by 37,520, including 16,020 women. The constituency consists of mostly hilly areas.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2018