Gender and Politics in the media

In focus: The Pakistan election. ‘Anyone influencing women to cast a vote will be punished’.

Tribal women warned not to vote Pakistan Daily Times MIRANSHAH: An unknown group on Wednesday warned that women in a restive tribal region should not vote in Saturday’s general election, threatening punishment.

“The people of Waziristan are hereby warned that they should not allow their women to cast votes and shouldn’t let any candidate influence them”, said the pamphlet, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

Signed by ‘Mujahedeen’, the leaflets were thrown from vehicles into shops in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border, an AFP reporter said.

“Take our words, this kind of disgraceful act will not be tolerated and anyone influencing women to cast a vote will be punished,” the pamphlet said.

Pakistani Women Determined to Vote Despite …  voanews.com Although women make up roughly half of Pakistan’s population, in the southwestern province …

Pakistani Women Determined to Vote Despite Threats – Voice of America Voice of America “Given the situation here, women cannot move freely. Going out is a problem,” she said. “It will be very difficult for women to cast their votes, because the conditions are such that if we leave the house and there is no security, what are we going to …

Pakistan election: what do women want? Food, freedom and peace The Guardian There is nothing more that female voters want in Saturday’s election than to be able to move beyond the traditional stereotypes and walk shoulder to shoulder with men. No longer content to be confined to the shadows of home, they want to step out into …

Pakistan’s female election candidates have bags of confidence The Guardian Powerful women the world over are evaluated on their appearance, but in Pakistan there are additional cultural constraints. However, as the country gears up for Saturday’s general election – its first ever transition from one elected government to…

Women empowerment is necessary Frontier Post The political representation of women in Pakistan is higher than India, Sri Lanka and Iran. Pakistan is listed as 45th in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) list of women in national parliaments and stood ahead of several developed democracies …

Pakistan Goes to the Polls: The Promise and Potential Huffington Post Badama Begum, a 33-year-old school teacher who worked the 2008 elections says not a single woman came to vote in Maardan in the North West Frontier Province – even though the government provided women election aids. Despite regressive restrictions, I am in awe of the tenacity of Muslim women.

Look at Khalida Bibi, a 39-year-old housewife from Dargai in the North West. She was eager to participate in the 2002 and 2008 elections – until she ran up against local opposition which stopped her. But make no mistake, Khalida Bibi, a determined Muslim women, shows her metal when she says: “I hope I will succeed this time because the election commission does not want to ban women from voting.”

Swabi: Polling stations near residences to facilitate women The News International SWABI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to set up polling stations for women near people’s residences with a main objective to facilitate the female voters to participate in the May 11 polls, Geo News reported. ECP sources told Geo …

The other half PakistanToday.com.pk The advent of 2013 elections propelled various political parties to present their manifestos by including a significant portion to address women issues, which comprises of around 50 percent of Pakistan’s population. A study of their particular sections …

Women Taking the Lead in Northern Pakistan Province Independent European Daily Express Currently, the National Assembly has 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for minorities; there is direct election for the remaining 272 seats. And forget contesting elections – women in some provinces cannot even cast their votes as it would amount to …

Terror outfit warns women in Waziristan against voting in May 11 polls Newstrack India Islamabad, May 9 (ANI): An unknown terror group has warned that women in Pakistan’s Waziristan area should not vote in Saturday’s general election, threatening punishment if they did. Pamplets signed by ‘Mujahideen’ were thrown from vehicles into shops …

Pakistani tribal women warned not to vote AFP MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — An unknown group Wednesday warned that women in a restive Pakistani tribal region should not vote in Saturday’s general election, threatening punishment. “The people of Waziristan are hereby warned that they should not allow …

Pakistan’s women face battle for the right to vote … guardian.co.uk Female activists plan to deploy protection teams to polling stations in forthcoming elections Fears over the safety of women voting in next week’s elections in Pakistan are rising after letters have been circulated in regions of the country warning men not to allow their wives, sisters and daughters out to the polling stations.

In an increasingly fraught and violent runup to the 11 May vote, leaflets are appearing stating that it is “un-Islamic” for women to participate in democracy.

Pakistani women encouraged to vote in upcoming general elections BBC News (Video at link) As Pakistanis get ready to head to the polls for May’s general elections, activists and certain sections of the country’s media are trying to encourage women to take a more active interest in politics and ensure they use their democratic right to vote 

Women Voters’ Influence In Pakistan’s Election … wpxi.com Fears over security concerns around Pakistan’s election rose after letters circulated warning …

Changing the tune: Decree ‘allows’ women of Kohistan to cast their vote The Express Tribune KOHISTAN: Former MNA Maulana Abdul Haleem – a man known for his chauvinism – has finally changed his mind, issuing a decree ‘allowing’ women of Kohistan to use their right to vote provided they are accompanied by a ‘mehrum’ – a male relative …

Tradition bars Paikhel women from voting Oman Tribune MIANWALI (Punjab) Despite reportedly agreeing to allow women their right to vote over a month ago at a gathering arranged by Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf leader Ayla Malik in Paikhel union council, the area elders have again barred the female folk from …

Men In Pakistan Village Decide Women Are Not Allowed To Vote The Frisky …Despite the elections being a great step forward for democracy, Pakistan’s disenfranchisement of women holds to a terribly outdated standard: the polls are mixed gender. One village elder was quoted as saying, ”We stop our women from going to polling stations because we think if they do, men would tease them by staring or touching them.”

So, the reasoning for not wanting women to vote is because of the fear that men will “tease” or “touch” them if they’re in a mixed polling place? This speaks volumes about the issues women face, not just in Pakistan, but globally. The paternalistic notion that men might harass (or, to take it further, sexually assault or abuse) women, so we should punish the women. Shouldn’t men just know better? This in my mind is like preemptive victim shaming, and I’m not down.

(Only) male voters matter Altmuslimah Not one of Pakistan’s 17 Supreme Court Judges is female and only three out of Pakistan’s 103 High Court judges are women. The Election Commission of Pakistan itself, has no female members, none of Pakistan’s 36 million women apparently being qualified…

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