Women’s Perceptions of Factors Barring their Political Participation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: A Case Study of District Dir Upper
Keywords:Women’s political participation, voting rights, Dir Upper, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Sex-segregated structure and conservative attitudes impede women’s participation in public-space activities in the Pakhtun population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly in the District Dir Upper. In this region, women’s political participation and voting are viewed as sinful, against the local traditions, and punitive. This paper aims to explore women’s perceptions of factors barring their political participation in district Dir Upper, Pakistan. Data for the study were collected from 200 registered women voters from various age groups and social background in different union councils of district Dir Upper in 2016. The results reveal that entrenched patriarchal norms, misogynist attitudes, gendered secluded norms, shame and stigma factor, fear of victimization, and lack of support and facilities from the government and political parties have significant association (P=0.000) with women’s political participation and voting. As a way forward, to ensure women’s maximum political participation and their uninterrupted voting turn out, this study makes several recommendations.