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PESHAWAR: Women rights activists have said that some of the political parties have failed to award the mandatory five per cent of the tickets to women for general seats under the Election Act 2017 and urged the ECP to clear the ambiguity about status of such political parties contesting the general elections.

Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Saturday, Aurat Foundation resident director Shabina Ayaz said that the Election Commission of Pakistan had asked the political parties to allot at least five per cent of tickets of general seats to women in order to get electoral symbols.

She said that as per data of ECP, the Pakistan Muslim League-Eagle had allotted 4.9 per cent of tickets for general seats to women candidates, followed by Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek which allotted 4 per cent, while the Qaumi Watan Party allotted only 3.2 per cent of its tickets for general seats to women candidates. She said that Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan had not allotted any poll ticket to women.

Rights activists say some parties failed to give 5pc of poll tickets to women

She regretted that despite violation of the code of conduct, the commission had allotted them the electoral symbols so it should explain about the status of the political parties in the general elections.

She said that the political parties had fielded women candidates in those constituencies wherein the parties didn’t get success in the past two general elections, which had put the women voters in difficulty and challenging situations.

Flanked by KP Commission on Status of Women chairman Neelum Toru, Saima Munir and Amina Durrani, Ms Shabina said that they had demanded of the ECP to ensure allotment of at least 10 per cent general seats’ tickets to women with the condition to field women candidates in those constituencies wherein the political parties would become victorious in the elections. She said that their demand in this regard was not accepted.

On this occasion, she demanded called for separate count of male and female voters.She urged the ECP to take measures to avoid harassment of women besides making arrangements to prevent inconvenience to female voters on the polling day.

Neelum Toru said that the provincial women commission and Aurat Foundation had entered into an agreement to support women’s participation in four districts of the province, includingPeshawar, Kohat, Swabi and Bannu. She said that the foundation would extend technical assistance to KPCSW to constitute committees on status of women under Article E-8. She said that the committees would help women in the targeted districts.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2018