Dearth of women voters in northwestern

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A Pakistani woman casts her vote at a polling station for Pakistan’s general elections at an school in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on February 18, 2008. (UPI Photo/Hossein Fatemi/Fars News Agency)
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LAHORE, Oct 15,2013 (Ihsan Qadir / UPI Next) — Tribal culture and long-standing traditions, not any sort of government or religious decree, prevented women from voting in parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during the August by-elections, a variety of local sources have told UPI Next.

A government inquiry found that women were not barred from polling stations.

Local television stations reported, however, that women were barred from voting during the polls in Nowshera and Lakki Marwat National Assembly constituencies because of a ban imposed by candidates or an understanding between candidates and tribal elders that women would not be allowed to cast ballots because of social or cultural norms. Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan then ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to withhold results from the constituencies, calling a bar on women voting a violation of human rights, Pakistan’s Constitution and Pakistani law.

Read more Dearth of women voters in northwestern Pakistan region linked to tradition – UPI.com.

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