Political Empowerment of Women in Pakistan

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Women are important part of the society. Half of the world’s population consists of women. The overall development of a country depends upon the maximum utilization of human resources including both male and female. In Pakistan, they are facing many problems to achieve political empowerment. There are many social and political factors which are considered as barriers to achieve political empowerment.(1) The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan gives equal rights to both women and men. Women constitute 49% of the Pakistan’s population, being unutilized in the national development due to their low skills, less education and less empowerment in the realm of politics. (2)

Historically, women can be seen, played an important role in Pakistan movement. Pakistan has produced a number of great women leaders and role models whom have struggled for development of country. Nation feels proud to have all such Pakistani women. The most prominent among them is the mother of the nation, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. There is also the first female Prime Minister of the country Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who is an inspiration to women not only in Pakistan but across the globe. But in praising the leadership of these women, it is often forgotten that they had to make incredible sacrifices, and face daunting challenges to achieve this success. (3)

Political empowerment rests not only on being able to get elected as the member of legislature but it also encompasses women’s role as voters, as members of a political party etc. Women of Pakistan are facing more unfavorable conditions as compare to male to play their role in politics. (4)

Limited visibility of women effects women’s empowerment and participation at every level. Social and security issues of women in Pakistan have negative affects on women political empowerment. Pakistani society has cultural and traditional environment that basically male-dominated which has weaken female approach to political empowerment.(5)

According to the press release of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics of population, women are 101,314,780 in numbers and 106,449,322 are number of men in Pakistan while the overall population of country is 207,774,520.(6) As it shows in the Census 2017 there are 48.76 women percent population of in country that is nearest to average of overall global percentage. However, in political arena the statistics tell a different story. According to Election Commission of Pakistan in 2018 the total number of registered voters was 105 million with male voters being 59.2 million, which is 55.74 per cent and female voters being 46.7 million that is 46.72 per cent. There was a gap of 9 per cent between male and female voters. However, out of total 53.1 million votes cast 33.0 million male and 21.8 million female cast votes. In Pakistan, Khyber Pukhtun Khawa and Balochistan are more backward in their attitudes and approach toward women. Comparatively Punjab and Sindh are liberal and in transformational phase.


Objectives of this study are:

  1. To analyze the social factors that affect political empowerment of women in Pakistan.
  2. To investigate the women’s political empowerment in perspective of political culture of Pakistan.
  3. To highlight the opportunities and challenges in political empowerment of women.

Significance of the study

  1. This study will provide understanding of issue of political empowerment of women in Pakistan.
  2. The research will be significant to know the socio-political challenges of women empowerment.
  3. This study will be helpful for many researchers to take help from findings,conclusions and results of this study in future.


Political empowerment of women will be a milestone towards empowerment of women in Pakistan.

Literature Review

Bari (7) described the importance of women political empowerment for democratic community. It is impossible to achieve the goals for democratic societies without the participation of women. Without participation of women in politics and women political empowerment this democracy became crippled democracy. So, to have any thought of having democratic polity without empowerment and participation of half of population is a disable thinking but to enable women politically, socially and economically is required to give them power of decision making.

Renuka (8) expressed equality of men and women is approximately essential for every element of life. The right from empowerment, participation to vote in election shows the democratic behavior. But according to extant work women have less opportunities than men in political empowerment as. Women’s participation in politics of any country gives a strong message globally not only in terms of equality and freedom of liberty but also in the space provided for women in the democratic framework of electoral politics. It is the very basis that makes most of the society realize and even forces them to think that women are incapable of political participation and representation. And, so they should be restricted inside the four walls to perform household chores.

Aziz (9) declared empowerment as an effective multidimensional procedure that capacitate women to grasp their identification and status in every aspect of life. But such codified presumptions, concerned to empowerment, are challenged when it faces the rigid beliefs and customs. In the patriarchal context of Pakistan, the work explores the issue of Pakistani parliamentarian women which they face during the exercise of professional lives.

Naz (10) wrote on equality of men and women in every field of life generally and political empowerment specifically. In all over the world Equality of women in political empowerment has became a great serious assumptions for the women development. However, Pakistani women are surrounding by old beliefs and customs which is biggest challenge for political empowerment of women of Pakistan.

Hana (11) discussed the barriers which has limited women in different aspects of their political professional life. The barriers are systemic, customary and institutional which limited women empowerment including political empowerment. Also according to women politicians, the fact that women are a minority in politics means that they have to adapt their behaviour to a given situation. Some emphasise the necessity to learn “masculine methods of behaviour”, while others emphasise the advantages of “a feminine style of behaviour” in a “masculine environment”.

Lauren (12) explained women began entering the workforce in large numbers after the end of World War II, especially for those between the age of 25 and 54.In the 1960’s “women of childbearing age” started entering the job market because of there was a decrease in the birth rate, more job opportunities, and changing opinions when it came to roles in the work and home. The amount of women in the workforce has continued to increase since the 1960s. From 1967 to 2009 the amount of women working full time increased by 28.4%.

Muhyu Din (13) discussed the work and wages of women of Pakistan in the social, economical and cultural context of country. Pakistani woman usually spent most of time of her life in house hold task including making food to eat,laundry work,task to collect the water and agricultural duties. Although women do not has a role in the formulation of macro economic and social policies. They have borne the brunt of such policies. Women’s exclusion from decision-making bodies at the local, provincial, and national levels does not provide them any opportunity to voice their concerns or promote their perspective on governance. The male dominated governance structure has been creating and recreating gender inequalities. The number of women in parliament remained lower in Pakistan. But the present government raised the women representation in national and provincial assemblies.

Hamna (14) explained Women in Pakistan have been part of politics, at various levels. They are participating from mobilization on specific issues to taking part in electoral politics, to sitting in local bodies and provincial and national legislatures. While women has been taken to collective and individual political activism in Pakistan’s political life. As they acted in the Pakistan Movement, fight against the Hudood ordinances under the Zia regime and during the various elections. Their presence in the decision making bodies of both political parties and national institutions has been minimal. This has resulted in the increased visibility of women within these law making bodies. However, this increased visibility has not translated into any significant gains for women. As female representatives is bound by their class and party affiliations.

Nasreen (15) mentioned different roles of women in domestic and local perspectives. Role of women in a culture fixes the respect and position of women in the society. Analysis of respect of women in different societies and ages indicate that position of women was worse in ancient societies. Women were considered inferior to the men. They had no basic rights. The birth of the female child had no pleasure for her parents. Women were deprived from the right of education and basic pleasures of life. Main role of women was considered to look after only the household matters and serve their family.

Research Gap

As the literature review shows that already research has been done on empowerment of women. However, a little effort has been made to explore the socio and political challenges are faced by women to achieve political empowerment in the country.

Research Questions

  1. What are social factors which affect women political empowerment in Pakistan?
  2. Why do women face social and political challenges in achievements of their political empowerment in Pakistan?
  3. How does political culture influence the political empowerment of women in Pakistan?

Research Methodology

This study is qualitative in nature based on exploratory which aimed at exploring the cause of any phenomenon. It does not aim at finding out or providing final or certain answer of any phenomena but it simply explores the reason and solution of research questions. Qualitative research is subjective method which based on data analysis and data gathering. It offers multiple ways of acquiring and examining knowledge. The study will be based on historical, descriptive and analytical methods. The data sources will be primary and secondary in nature. In primary sources autobiographies, speeches, government record, census record and photographs are included. In secondary data sources like internet, journals, newspapers NGO’s survey, private record will be included. For data collection print and electronic sources will use. Print material like books, published Reports, research journals, Newspapers and electronic source like internet source in which websites, e-books etc will include for this research. The findings of study will be narrative and descriptive form.


  1. Ali, M. (2012). Empowerment and Political Mobilization of Women in Pakistan: A Descriptive Discourse of Perspectives. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 32: PP.4-12.
  2. Shah, I (2015). Women councilors for women’s empowerment in Pakistan. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 16: PP.203-219.
  3. kalam, A. (2014). Social norms and impediments of women development in Bangladesh Kalam. A University of business and technology Mirpur-2 Dhaka, 2: PP.1-100
  4. Naz, A. (2012). Developing Gender Equality: An Analytical Study of Socio-Political and Economic Constraints in Women’s Empowerment in Pakhtun Society of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 14: PP. 259-266
  5. Huma, Z. (2016). Empowering Women: NGOs Project Impacts in Baluchistan-Pakistan. Department of Social Sciences and Psychology Western Sydney University, Australia, 2016: PP.12-35
  6. Butt, K. (2014). Women empowerment by local representation: case study of Lahore. Journal Of Political Science Xxxii, 32: PP.99-106
  7. Bari, F. (2005). Women’s political participation: Issues and Challenges. In United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women Expert Group Meeting: Enhancing Participation of Women in Development through an Enabling Environment for Achieving Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women. Bangkok, 2005: P.3
  8. Renuka, Ch. (2018). Issues and challenges of women participation in politics. National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, 3: PP.344-346
  9. Aziz, A. (2011). Participatory action research as the approach for women’s empowerment. Action Research, 9: PP. 303-323
  10. Naz, A. (2012). Socio-cultural impediments to women political empowerment in Pakhtun society. Academic Research International, 3: PP.163-171
  11. Hana, H. (2002). Identifying barriers to women’s participation Czech republicInstitute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 19: PP.1-8
  12. Walker,L. (2015).Awomen’promoting the pursuit of gender equality in the work place. Doctrol dissertation, university of Mississippi, 2015: PP. 6-12
  13. Gulam, M. (2005).Background,assessment and analysis of the gender issue in Pakistan.Department of economics GC university Lahore, 2011: P.683
  14. Nasir, H. (2016)Gender equality in education:case of major Urbanizing areas of Pakistan.IOSR journal of humanities and social sciences, 2016: PP.14-25
  15. Nasreen, A. (2008). A crtical anyalysis of life of Pakistani women:Views of educated women. Journal of elementary education, 26: PP. 111-121

Cite this paper

Political Empowerment of Women in Pakistan. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/political-empowerment-of-women-in-pakistan/

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