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UN, EU urge Pak to ensure women participation in polls

ISLAMABAD, 29 MAY (DNA) – The European Union Delegation and EU Member States, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Friday called on the Government of Pakistan, the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the leaders of political parties to investigate the allegations that women have been barred from voting in Local Gov’t elections.

According to recent media reports, candidates, community elders and religious leaders in some constituencies are preventing women from voting in the local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which are scheduled to take place on Saturday 30 May.

The UN and EU urged the federal and provincial government to take all steps necessary to ensure that women are allowed to participate fully in the elections.

This is in line with a recommendation by the European Union Observer Mission to the May 2013 General Elections which called for “…Resolute actions to be taken against agreements that prohibit women from voting.” The Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform should recommend appropriate legislative measures to ensure effective legal sanctions against such activities in future.

We call on the Government of Pakistan, as a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, to honour its commitment under these agreements and to safeguard the basic rights of women and to ensure that barriers are removed which prevent women from exercising their democratic right to participate in elections and cast their ballots for candidates of their choice.

We look forward to continue our cooperation with the Pakistani Government, as part of the electoral reform process, to promote the participation of women in elections. DNA


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