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Women’s role in voting and elections" in Gilgit Baltistan
Women’s role in voting and elections"

Women’s role in voting and elections

Muhammad Hussain

Women are an integral part of our society and they should not be neglected. As far as the women of Gilgit Baltistan are concern, they are deprived of their basic rights. They can’t cast their votes as per their choice. They are instructed to vote for a particular person. Unfortunately, the literacy rate is very low. According to the latest survey the district’s general enrollment rate in schools is 54 per cent while the ratio of female enrollments much lower than the figure mentioned. A society where the women are not allowed to cast their votes, no one can think of sending females to school also. Election Commission of Gilgit-Baltistan has announced General Elections on 8th June of this year for the Gilgit-Blatistan Legislative Assembly but women of Gilgit-Baltistan are not aware about the elections. They are highly influenced by the religious scholars and the scholars are misleading women to give vote to a particular person, of his own interest.

The women of Gilgit Baltistan should wake up from slumber. Keeping in view the past electoral experiences , this time every eligible women should make an endeavor to cast her vote responsibly. May be the majority vote of women could put a village so full of potential on the right track, which have been ruined over the years . Women follow the dictates of men when they are giving their votes. It’s not a woman’s choice. This thing must be eradicated from the society. Women must have the freedom to cast their vote according to their choice and decision.

In Gilgit-Baltistan, the most complicated thing is the Jirgah System. The Jirgah claims that such decisions are cultural and religious. But if we examine, in the era of rightly guided caliphs, there is a famous anecdote that when the Caliph Ali(A.S) was told to hold the office of the caliphate after the death of Caliph Usman(R.A) by the masses, he (Ali A.S ) replied that “I will not hold the office until the pious housewives of Madina will not come outside their homes to pledge for allegiance (Bee’at) with me”. We should take some massive steps to dispel the reservations of the Jirgah so that the women could use their wills to choose their representatives.

Also, the government and public welfare institutions should work to uplift the social conditions of the people in the region by making them educated and by strengthening them economically. In a nutshell we can say that women pay an important and inevitable role in our society and without their positive functions we can’t flourish. The women of Gilgit-Baltistan who work from dawn to dusk, can they be ignored ? We should give them courage and spread awareness, help them become responsible citizens.

Muhammad Hussain is a Baltistani English Comedian, motivational speaker and social worker. He can be reached at hussain_kamal60@yahoo.com

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