Women’s Quest for Political Space in 2024 Elections

As Pakistan gears up for the 2024 general elections, an observable yet concerning trend emerges concerning female political representation. Although there’s been a rise in women filing nomination papers compared to past elections, the significant gap between male and female candidates highlights the enduring gender inequality in politics.

According to daily Tribune, The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reported a record 3,139 women filing nomination papers, showcasing improvement but not reflecting true parity. Notably, 471 women aim to contest general seats in the National Assembly, while 802 are vying for provincial assembly positions. However, the numbers for reserved seats—459 for the National Assembly and 1,365 for provincial assemblies—remain relatively low. The scant representation among non-Muslim candidates, with only 32 and 10 women contesting reserved seats in provincial and National Assemblies respectively, raises concerns about minority inclusivity in political discourse. While this surge is a positive step, addressing entrenched factors like societal norms and enhancing data collection is crucial to bridge the enduring gender gap in politics.

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