Amendments in Electoral Laws and Its Effects on Female Participation in General Elections
Author: Waseem Abbas

The rational of this topic is to assess political emancipation of women in different socio-cultural aspects. It has been strived to find out as to whether electoral legal framework of the country accelerates or impedes political empowerment of women. Moreover, this study might be helpful to find out as to whether women are registered as voters as part to men. Moreover, this study also highlights voting patterns in different districts of the country that implicitly provides the power contribution in political decision making that women did have during general election 2018. Lastly, this study may also be helpful to highlight the districts where women are getting somewhat congenial atmosphere in order to be a part and parcel of political decision making. Researcher followed the mix method research strategy and descriptive research design for the current research. Purposive sampling technique used to identify the difference between women registration and turnout before and after general elections. Researcher has used secondary data for this study which has been collected through different platforms. It may be said that more efforts are required from ECP, NADRA and development sector to enhance female registration. Moreover, rigorous campaign is require to be run in Zhob division of Balochistan and Malakand division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for encouraging women to cast their votes. In Punjab female voting percentage in big cities of Punjab is relatively lower to rural areas. FATA still has to travel a long journey in electing women in direct elections. An analysis of the data shows that hectic efforts are required by concerned stakeholders to improve female participation in political decision making. Moreover, province wise, and sometimes region wise, exclusive policies are required to be designed keeping in view the specific requirement. It is also appropriate to mention that policies aiming at urban women should be different from policies aiming at rural women. The findings of this study show that there has been some connection of development with political empowerment, though this aspect is not the epicentre of the study. The findings can be expressed as that the most backward districts like Kohlu, Dera Bhugti and North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Mohmand Agency have a disparity of male and female registration up to 30%. Moreover, disparity between registration and casting of votes is higher than 15% in Kohlu, Musakhel and Sherani districts in Balochistan. Whereas, for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts of Swat, Buner, Batagram, Shangla and Khyber Agency it is more than 20%. In Sindh, Tando Mohammad khan district does also has a gap of more than 15%. ix The highest number of women candidates who contested direct election in KPK was for Peshawar District where four female contested direct elections. However, no female candidate from the province could win elections. For Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region only one female from Kuram Agency contested elections without success. In Punjab twelve women contested direct election from Lahore District that was the highest number among districts. However, two women from Vehari District won elections, so in terms of victory, Vehari stood first. A total number of three women won direct elections in Punjab. Six women contested election from Karachi East District with no success but one each women stood returned from the Badin, Sanghar, Khairpur and Thatha Districts. From Balochistan eleven women contested election from Quetta district however one female candidate stood returned from Kech district. Last but not the least, general elections since 2008 are showing gradually negative impact on Gender Empowerment Measure that should be addressed. Supervisor:- Dr. Karim Khan

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Keywords : Gender and Elections, General Elections 2018, Women in Politics
Supervisor: Karim Khan

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