Women not being given level playing field in GB elections: Sherry
Senator Sherry Rehman, parliamentary leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate.–File photo
Senator Sherry Rehman, parliamentary leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate, has demanded a level playing field for everyone - including women - in the upcoming Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) elections.
“It is shocking that not only are women being disallowed from submitting papers in their areas, but they are also not being given proper security despite threats”.
“PPP’s Sadia Danish needs better security as the GB administration has clearly told her she’s under threat. She has also been told not to submit her papers in the Diamer area where she’s contesting the elections,” the senator said.
“Part-1, A(6) Code of Conduct for the GB elections 2020 clearly states that Political Parties shall endeavour to provide equal opportunities to its qualified members both men and women to participate in the electoral process. Then why are women being kept from submitting their papers in their areas? It is a violation of the Code of Conduct,” she added.
“It is important to point out that The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has also urged the Election Commission of Gilgit-Baltistan (ECGB) to take appropriate measures to improve voters’ access to polling stations, particularly of women, for the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly elections,” added the senator.
Commenting on the strong presence of women in GB, the Senator added, “Women voters in the GB region are very strong and must be respected at all times. They are deprived of their basic rights in some parts of the region, especially in Diamer. It is our duty and responsibility to make sure that women are given all rights to contest the elections.”
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has categorically said, “We will not let anyone snatch women’s right to vote in the GB elections. Benazir Bhutto fought to empower women all over Pakistan and we must continue her legacy. The PPP has introduced democracy in this mountainous region, and we will ensure women thrive and prosper in the upcoming GB elections”, added the Senator.
“Federal minister Gandapur has been illegally visiting and campaigning in GB. This is an open violation of election rules in GB. According to the Election Act, 2017, the federal government is not allowed to campaign on the ground. On top of all this, the PM had also decided to add to this flagrant rigging and misuse of federal resources by landing in GB to campaign last week”, added the Senator.
Sherry, also vice president of the PPP, said, “The PPP has and will always stand by women in GB. Our party will make sure that women are being given equal opportunities in the electoral process. We want to empower our women, not disenfranchise them.”