Only 16 women contesting for NA in Balochistan, 42 for PA

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday issued status of candidates contesting general election 2018 for the National Assembly and provincial assemblies’ seats. According to details, so far, 3,675 candidates across the country are flexing their muscles for 342-seat National Assembly of Pakistan. Of these, 272 are filled by direct elections.
According to the data shared by the ECP, number of women candidates contesting for NA is the lowest in Balochistan i.e. 16 while for the 106-seat provincial assembly there are 42 women in the run. In the province, the number of non-Muslim candidates contesting for the PA is 42 while none is a candidate for the NA from this province. While the number of male candidates for NA election from this province is 287 and for the PA, 943.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the second province where women contestants’ participation is registered quite low after Balochistan. For the 124-member provincial assembly, 79 women are contesting in the election and that too, mostly urban constituencies of the province. For the National Assembly, there are only 35 women candidates from this province. As compared with this figure the number of male candidates for the NA seats from this province is 725 and 1,165 for the KP Assembly. The number of non-Muslim candidates contesting on PA seat from this province is 20.
Punjab, too has not fared well with regard to women participation for NA and PA seats as only 73 are contesting for NA as compared with their 1,623 male counterparts and 174 for the provincial assembly as compared with their 4,036 male counterparts for the 371-member Punjab Assembly. The number of non-Muslim candidates contesting from this province for PA seats is 32 while none is participating for NA seat.
In Sindh, the number of women contesting for NA seats is 48, while for the PA, 91 women are contesting for the 168-member assembly. While with regard to their male counterparts, 824 are in the run for the National Assembly and 2,252 are contesting for the provincial assembly. On National Assembly seats, interestingly, 44 non-Muslim candidates are contesting in this province while none is contesting for the provincial assembly.

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