Darel Jirga decides against allowing women to vote

Gilgit, April 30: A Jirga held a couple of days back in the Darel Valley of Diamer District has unanimously decided to not allow women voters to cast the ballot.

The Jirga was  was held in the Darel Valley of Diamer District a couple of days back to discuss whether registered women voters should be allowed to vote or not. The Jirga was attended by a large number of locals, including religious scholars and candidates from all parties.

A local reporter informed that the Jirga has unanimously decided to not allow women to vote. The Jirga’s decision is likely to disenfranchise more than 12,550 female voters of the GBLA-17, Diamer 3, constituency.

A similar Jirga decision is pending in the adjacent Tangir Valley. “The decision from Tangir Valley on whether to allow women to vote or not is expected in a couple of days”, said our reporter.

Many of the locals believe that allowing women to vote is against the region’s cultural norms and also the religious teachings.

Human Rights organizations and activists have condemned the decision and asked the government to take necessary steps to ensure that women voters are allowed to exercise their legal right. Via GBVOTES.PK

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  1. Imagine a group of women getting together and deciding whether to let men vote or not. Does that sound ridiculous? Because it is, when someone imagines they can think for others. Attended by “scholars” and “politicians”? Another name for backward bigots.

  2. The proper response, even in Pakistan, would be to invalidate the election. Given that G-B is isolated from larger constitutional currents in Pakistan and the J&K federation, I doubt you have a functioning Election Commission able to make it happen. So, despite the reputed unanimity between the political parties in that Jirga, someone should file suit in court (not merely “ask the government”) and seek both judicial invalidation of the election and a judicially supervised new election that permits women to vote. Human rights belong to every person, male or female. Every person, male or female, must have a right to vote. The ancient “cultural norms” and “religious teachings” of even a unanimous male jirga cannot constitutionally nor in justice deny to even a single woman the right to vote, let alone the whole sex.

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