MULTAN: The traditionally known as a less-developed region of South Punjab is undergoing a noteworthy transformation in its political landscape, marked by an unprecedented surge in women’s participation.
A total of 20 women are actively contesting open seats in the upcoming general election scheduled for February 8, 2024.
This surge in women’s involvement is a commendable and historic milestone for South Punjab. It signifies the first time in the electoral history of the region that such a significant number of women have actively entered the political arena, demonstrating a strong desire to contribute meaningfully to public service. Their candidacies span national and provincial assembly seats, showcasing a diverse and dynamic representation.
Of the six National Assembly seats and twelve Provincial Assembly seats, women candidates have submitted their papers for five National Assembly seats and nine Provincial Assembly seats, emphasizing their dedication to shaping the region’s future.
Notable women contenders for National Assembly seats include Aneela Iftikhar, Makkaya Bibi (NA 148), Dr. Robeena Akhtar (NA 149), Mehr Bano Qureshi (NA 150), and Naghma Mushtaq (NA 153).
Simultaneously, a remarkable array of women candidates, including Ayesha Siddiqa, Naeem un Nisa, Saira Ali, Qurban Fatima, Shazia Begum, Shumaila Ejaz Shah, Farzana Salman, Syed Zulihuma, Syed Qurat ul Ain, Madeeha Rehman, Sabeen Gul, Naghma Mushtaq, and Kalsoom Naaz, are vying for various constituencies in the Punjab Assembly.
This surge in women’s political participation breaks traditional barriers and signifies a positive step toward inclusivity and gender equality in the political sphere.
Political analyst Riaz Ahmed notes that these women candidates’ diverse backgrounds and expertise promise a more comprehensive representation that aligns with the varied needs and aspirations of South Punjab’s population.
“As the region anticipates the upcoming general elections, the emergence of these courageous women candidates serves as an inspiring narrative of change and progress. It signals a transformative era for South Punjab’s political landscape. Their collective commitment to public service and representation reflects a hopeful shift towards a more inclusive and diverse governance paradigm, setting the stage for a brighter future in the region,” concludes Riaz. —APP