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July 24, 2019

Losing women candidates blame defeat on patriarchy, use of money


July 24, 2019

PESHAWAR: The two losing female candidates who contested the July 20 polls in the merged tribal district said they lived in a patriarchal society where the people did not like a woman to lead them.

Talking to The News in their separate chats, Awami National Party (ANP) candidate for PK-106 from Khyber district, Naheed Afridi, said that most independent candidates emerged victorious in the election as they were resourceful and had spent huge amount of money on their election campaigns.

Naheed Afridi said the people voted for those candidates who they thought would win the polls. She said the people voted on the basis of personality cult and not political affiliation.

She said the overall turnout of female voters was low in the election as they did not cast votes due to conservative customs and tribal traditions.

She said many women came to the polling stations, but they did not vote due to the installation of the closed-circuit television cameras as they didn’t want to be filmed.

Naheed Afridi pointed out that many voters did not vote by taking the plea that those who had won the last general election did not bother to visit their constituencies.

She alleged that money was used to buy votes in the election. She believed that even her party workers did not vote for her.

It may be mentioned that the ANP had fielded Naheed Afridi in PK-106 Khyber, but she polled 194 votes only.

Malasa Bibi was the candidate of Jamaat-e-Islami. She ran for PK-109 in the Kurram district but could secure 17 votes only.

Talking to The News, Malasa Bibi said that it was a tough job to contest election in the male-dominated society, particularly in the tribal districts.

“I was excited when the Jamaat-e-Islami awarded me the ticket for contesting the election,” she recalled.

However, she said that unfortunately the tribal women were still dependent on men and couldn’t even vote without the permission of the male family members.

“During the election campaign, many women had promised to vote for me, but they could not do so as they were not allowed to leave home. Malasa Bibi said her party workers actively campaigned for her but unluckily she could not get many votes. She also alleged that money was used to buy votes.

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