Patriarchal Politics: Factors Limiting Women's Participation in Local Government in Pakistan

Nasreen, Nasira; Sanauddin, Noor; Gul, Seema
December 2016
Putaj Humanities & Social Sciences;2016, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p73
Academic Journal
Active participation of women in political process is one of the key indicators of women empowerment. It has been observed that despite the 33% quota reserved for women in the local government system in Pakistan, and despite the fact that a large number of women were elected as councillors during the local bodies elections held in 2002, no substantial results were recorded with regard to women's political empowerment in the country. Using qualitative methods, this study was conducted with elected women councillors in order to explore the way women entered politics, their experiences as councillors, and the hurdles they encountered during their tenure at the union council level. The article explores a number of institutional and cultural hurdles in the way of women's political empowerment. For examples, most of the women elected through reserved quotas were usually uneducated and came from very low socio-economic backgrounds. On the other hand, some of them belonged to established political/feudal families: they were the wives, daughters and sisters or sisters-in-law of those who are already stakeholders in the power structure of the state. The representation of both kinds of these elected women is merely numerical, leaving no real impact on the lives of ordinary women.


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