BAJAUR: Political parties and candidates are making efforts to ensure maximum participation of women voters in the February 8 polls as Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared 10 per cent women votes in a constituency must for validity of the polling process.

Women constitute more than 48 per cent of the total population of Bajaur tribal district. Local leaders of all political and religious parties as well as independent candidates are giving special attention to active participation of women in the upcoming elections during their campaign.

“Leaders of political parties and poll aspirants, who were earlier focusing only on male voters in their ongoing election campaign, have now started giving importance to women voters after realising that 10 per cent women votes are mandatory in a constituency for the elections to be declared valid as per ECP rules,” said local sources.

They said that nominees of political parties and independent candidates had earlier totally ignored women voters. “For the last two weeks, they have started giving importance to women voters,” they added.

Jawad Iqbal Salarzai, a worker of PTI, told this scribe that besides his party, local leaders of all most all parties were making efforts to bring maximum women to the polling stations on the polling day.

He said that his party also formed a team to mobilise women voters and ensure their active participation in the election process.

PML-N vice provincial president Shahabuddin Khan, who is contesting elections for PK-20, has also formed several teams of elders and youth to convince locals to allow their women to cast their votes on the polling day.

Similarly, local leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami are also struggling to convince their supporters to encourage their women to cast votes in the district on the polling day.

A senior worker of JI told this scribe that his party formed several teams of female workers to inform women about the importance of their votes.

A local said that political and religious parties and poll candidates were yet to say anything against casting of votes by women in their ongoing campaign and public meetings. “It will help local women to use their right to vote in the upcoming elections,” he added.


To find your constituency and location of your polling booth, SMS your NIC number (no spaces) to 8300. Once you know your constituency, visit the ECP website here for candidates.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2024

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