Islamabad: Polling booths for women in local elections in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province were deserted on Saturday following an unannounced ban on women voters.
The women’s polling booths were left deserted as neither the polling staff nor the voters were present, Khyber News reported.
The polling staff in different parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province had set up separate polling booths for women voters at the polling stations for local body elections.
Stickers were displayed on doors reading “polling booth for women”, as political activists at Gadar, Adam Dherai, Talash, Bandagai and Balambat said that they would not like to bring women of their families to the joint polling stations.
They said that it was against Pakhtun traditions that men and women gather at the same place.
Despite efforts by the civil society, it seems women could not exercise their right to vote in the Saturday’s elections. Though the political leadership in the district has given the green signal to women to cast their votes, they seemed least bothered to ensure women’s participation.
The elections for village and neighbourhood councils are being held on non-party basis whereas elections for tehsil and district council levels are being held on party basis.
In all, 84,420 candidates are in the fray for 41,762 seats.