ISLAMABAD: The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Sunday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to declare the result of Union Council Darora, Upper Dir tehsil by-election held on Thursday (December 21), null and void as women of the area were denied of their basic right to vote.
According to reports, one day before the polls, the leadership of all religious and liberal political parties’ in Darora reached a verbal agreement to bar women from casting their votes.
“Out of 17,201 registered voters in that area, 6,813 are women. Per agreement, no woman cast a vote in the by-election.”
NCSW Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz said that the commission strongly condemned this violation of basic womens’ right in Upper Dir. It was unfortunate that political parties belonging to the right and left schools of thought agreed to stop women from casting their vote, despite the fact that the result of any such election would be declared null and void under the law, the chairperson added.
The NCSW demanded from the leadership of all political parties that were part of this agreement to take notice of the situation and ensure strict measures against all those involved in the act, so that such practices would never be repeated in the future, she stressed.
She said the commission also urged women parliamentarians to take up this matter in the Parliament, as well as within the party and condemn the act at every level. The NCSW believed that democratic process was incomplete without women participation, she added.