LAHORE: In spite of a record number of 183 women contesting the July 25 polls, only eight female lawmakers were able to get elected to general seats, according to data released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
These eight female candidates who secured victory and National Assembly (NA) seats include four won in Sindh, three in Punjab, and one in Balochistan. Whereas, not a single woman won a general seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The higher number of women participating in elections this time could partially be attributed to a provision in the Elections Act 2017 which made it compulsory for all political parties to allocate at least 5 per cent tickets to women on general seats for national and provincial assemblies.
Following this order, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) issued tickets to the minimum number of women as was permissible by the law.
Of the successful women candidates, three had contested on PPP tickets ─ Nafisa Shah from NA-208, Khairpur-I, Shazia Marri from NA-216, Sanghar-II and Shamsun Nisa from NA-232, Thatta.
Two winning female candidates, Ghulam Bibi from NA-115, Jhang-II and Zartaj Gul from NA-191, DG Khan had contested on PTI tickets, while the PML-N, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) had one winning woman candidate each, namely Mehnaz Akber Aziz from NA-77, Narowal-I, Zubaida Jalal from NA-271, Kech and Fehmida Mirza from NA-230, Badin II.
In the 2013 elections, the total number of contesting female candidates was 135 including 74 party ticket holders and 61 independents.
In the 2008 elections, the number of female candidates dropped down to 72, including 41 party ticket holders and 31 independents.