Political gender disparity

ECP has reported a record number of 3,139 women filing nomination papers.

As Pakistan gears up for the 2024 general elections, a noteworthy but concerning trend emerges in the realm of female political representation. While there has been an increase in the number of women filing nomination papers compared to previous elections, the disparity between male and female hopefuls remains stark, painting a portrait of persistent gender inequality in the political landscape.

ECP has reported a record number of 3,139 women filing nomination papers. While this marks an improvement from previous elections, it falls short of reflecting a truly equitable political arena. The encouraging news is that women are increasingly stepping forward to contest general seats in the National Assembly, with 471 nominations. Provincial assemblies also witness a rise in female candidates, totaling 802 across various constituencies. However, when it comes to reserved seats for women in national and provincial assemblies, the numbers are still relatively modest, with 459 and 1,365 nominations, respectively. A more nuanced examination reveals a concerning aspect — only 32 women submitted papers for reserved seats in provincial assemblies for non-Muslims, and a mere 10 candidates filed papers for National Assembly seats reserved for non-Muslims. The oversight of this demographic raises questions about the inclusivity and representation of minority voices in the political discourse.

While this unprecedented increase is a step in the right direction, it is crucial to address the underlying factors contributing to the persistent gender disparity. Societal norms and cultural expectations are among the challenges that continue to impede the full participation of women in the political sphere. Efforts must be redoubled to create an environment that encourages and supports women in politics. Additionally, there is a need for comprehensive data collection to ensure accurate representation.

Read more