Women contenders of general seats in 2018 polls seek party support

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KARACHI: Political parties complying to 5% mandatory allocation of tickets for general seats to their women workers here urged to actively and extensively campaign in support of these female candidates for the July 25 polls.

Stakeholders including women candidates from different national and regional political parties, activists and researchers participating in a “Dialogue on political participation of women and electoral violence,” organised by Sindh commission on the Status of Women with the support of UN Women also sought foolproof security for female contenders engaged in their campaigns.

They further called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and their provincial counterparts to particularly facilitate women contesting on general seats as independent candidates.

Activists as well as, researchers taking exception to the fact that political parties who have issued general seat tickets to women had adopted a partial approach and most of these tickets pertain to non-winning seats or those with little chance of success for their respective candidates.

Emphasising that governments need to financially support women in their political participation, the participants observed with concern that social, financial, cultural restraints are a chain on women from partaking in the political process.

Women’s rights have been socially and financially wrested away from them and they are not only greatly sidelined in economics but also exposed to violence besides the phenomenon of character is assassination even if they are members of the National Assembly.

Sindh Commission on the Status of Women (SCSW) Chairperson, Nuzhat Shirin at the very onset of the day-long programme said that the meeting has been designed to help the female candidates and also to create a network of political parties and civil society so that they can combine their resources and work towards women’s rights and issues together.

“It is also our mandate to facilitate and monitor implementation of international instruments and obligations affecting women and girls,” she said.

The SCSW chairperson reiterated that political parties were being encouraged from the commission’s platform to fully support their female candidates.

“Our mandate includes to act for advocacy, lobbying, coalition building, networking and also to serve as a catalyst for the promotion of the cause of women to facilitate their participation in all spheres of life including legal, economic, social and political empowerment,” she concluded.