Women Polling Stations with Zero Turnout In General Elections

women polling stations

In total 74 women polling stations wore a deserted look in the general elections of 2018. FAFEN dives deep to fetch you facts. 


A significant number of women were denied the opportunity to exercise their right to vote during the 2018 general elections due to restrictions and an environment that kept them away from women polling stations.

On the 25th of July, 2018, not a single woman cast her vote in 74 polling stations, thereby depriving 76,793 registered female voters of their fundamental right, according to a FAFEN survey of women polling stations.

Of these 74 polling stations, the majority (64) were located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The absence of women’s electoral participation raises serious concerns about the unjust circumstances and unequal treatment faced by women in terms of their political rights and involvement.

Women Polling Stations: Role of Societal Pressures & Patriarchy

In a country like Pakistan, cultural and societal pressures, coupled with entrenched patriarchal norms, contribute to the deliberate exclusion of women from the public domain. Domestic responsibilities, limited access, and mobility issues further restrict their engagement in the political sphere.

Beyond these cultural barriers, a primary reason for the exclusion of women from the political process is the lack of National Identity Cards (NICs), a prerequisite for voting. Additionally, a noteworthy concern is the composition of the polling staff, typically consisting of mixed-gender personnel, which inadvertently discourages women from participating. Addressing these challenges is imperative to ensure equal representation and participation for women in the democratic process.

The table below shows the polling stations with zero women turnout in the remaining regions.

Region Number of PS Number of Registered Women Voters
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 64 68,272
FATA 1 253
Punjab 3 3107
Sindh 3 3245
Balochistan 3 1916
Total 74 76,793

Women Polling Stations: A Detailed Analysis

A more detailed analysis reveals that the majority of these polling stations were concentrated in specific constituencies. Sixteen of them were situated in NA-10 Shangla, fifteen in NA-12 Batagram, and fourteen in NA-9 Buner.

Despite the challenges, the female voter turnout in NA-12 Batagram and NA-9 Buner exceeded 10 percent, while in NA-10 Shangla, it remained significantly lower at a mere 7.81 percent.

The Need for Remedy

This breakdown emphasizes the contentious nature of female participation in these constituencies as a whole, with a particular focus on the challenges faced by women in Shangla. The disparities in turnout rates underscore the need for targeted efforts to address and rectify the obstacles preventing women from exercising their right to vote in these specific areas.