Can female candidates equally win on general seats?


There were at least 60 women who contested in the 2008 general elections but only 13 of them could make their way to the power corridors by defeating their male opponents.

The women who managed to win in the 2008 elections on the general seats included National Assembly Speaker Fahmida Mirza, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Tehmina Daultana, Sumaira Malik, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Samina Khalid Ghurki.

This time again, a large number of women have come out to try their luck on the general seats in the upcoming May 11 polls. Some of them are independent candidates while others are given tickets by their parties. In the 2008 elections, 24 women independently contested elections and most of them could not get a significant number of votes. Only Saima Akhtar Bharwana could manage out of 24 independent female candidates. She won from NA-90 by bagging 64,759 votes.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) gave tickets to 11 women while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) gave tickets to seven women on general seats. Only Sumaira Naz and Tehmina Daultana could secure seats on PML-N’s tickets and reach the National Assembly.

The former speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza is defending her seat in NA-225 in the upcoming elections. In the 2008 elections, she defeated 10 male opponents and got the highest turn out. Similarly, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)’s Ghulam Bibi Bharwana won from NA-87 by getting 63,515 votes. On the other hand, PML-Q’s another leader Farkhanda Amjad Warraich managed to reach in National Assembly by securing 69,827 votes.

Zubaida Jalal Khan contested the 2008 elections from NA-272, Kech-cum-Gwadar, as an independent candidate. She got only 33,564 votes and lost to Yaqoob Bizenjo of Balochistan Awami National Party.

The National Assembly has 60 reserved seats for women. In 2008 elections the PPP got 23 seats out of 60 while PML-N got 17 reserved seats for women.