ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has set up 81 separate polling stations for women to ensure their right to franchise in Lower Dir district in the next general elections due on July 25.
According to the district election commissioner Dir Lower Noor Said Khan Khattak, the district has two National and five provincial assembly seats.
All the political parties are actively mobilizing women voters to actively participate in the election process.
However, a woman from Upper Dir named Hameeda Shahid made headlines the other day for her struggle break a taboo restricting women from exercising their right to vote and encourage them to have their say at ballot box.
She is the first woman to run on a general seat from the region where women find it hard to raise voice for their rights and stepping in the electoral arena is virtually no-go area for them.
In the past, women were even restricted from exercising their right to franchise in elections.
As a result, the elections were often challenged in courts which ordered re-election calling for participation of women in the electoral process.
In March this year, women for the first time exercised their right to vote in local bodies elections in the region.
Hameeda Shahid, who is associated with the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, is not testing her luck at ballot box for the first time as she had previously contested an election for tehsil councillor, but couldn’t win.
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