WOMEN make up about half of the total global population, playing a tremendous role in every walk of life. Yet, they are not encouraged to become decision-makers even in domains related to issues that directly affect their own lives. When it comes to mainstream politics, their representation becomes even trickier.

According to a survey conducted mainly in South Asia and some parts of the Middle East, about 60 per cent of the male population think it is inappropriate for women to be political workers, and about 20pc restrain women in their households from even casting their vote.

Political parties, barring the odd exception here and there now and then, themselves fail to have a gender-neutral existence with deserving women in decision-making posts. The political parties and the masses together deal with women politicians in a manner that is often deemed unacceptable in interactions with their male counterparts. And this happens across the political divide.

The need of the hour is to ensure a pleasant environment for women to thrive politically so that they may serve the nation, especially the womenfolk.

Hareem Ajaz
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2021

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