Historical Review of Women Participation in Pakistan’s Parliament: A Case of Socio-Political Empowerment


Dr. M Madni Asghar,Dr. Qaswar Abbas Khan


This paper is developed to explore the historical trajectory of women political empowerment through their participation in Pakistan's parliament, focusing on the period from 2008 to 2018. Study explores socio-political empowerment of Pakistani women by focusing on evolving role and influence in legislation through participation in parament. Research is based on mix method, consulting secondary data and collection of primary data from women parliamentarians (2008-2018). Role of women parliamentarian in legislation, barriers in legislation process and enforcement of laws, key challenges for women parliamentarian and enabling factors for women in discussed. Quality suggestions for effective and efficient implementation of women related laws are also presented. Issues faced by women parliamentarian at domestic, community and upper level are explored and suggestion for each law related to women are described in detail. In historical perspective of women participation in politics and their role for socio-political empowerment for Pakistani women is known through secondary data that reveals that women efforts and participation in politics remained less acknowledged and rewarded. 212 women parliamentarians from current and former governments from 2008 to 2018 from all political parties were interviewed through a semi-structured questionnaire. Findings revealed that women politician faced challenges at domestic and community level based on social values, culture and taboos. Party and country level challenges are considering women unable to perform well and take decision at a key place. Legislation made for women is not an easy task and implementation on these laws is a real challenge as there is need of integration among departments and organization and allocation of physical and human resources. There should be women participation in politics and their awareness on socio-political empowerment at grass root level, so genuine issues of women may be presented for legislation. Local government system may be one of the best ways to promote women socio-political empowerment in Pakistan. Ultimately, this research offers a valuable insight for policymakers, activists, and scholars seeking to advance gender equality and foster inclusive governance in Pakistan and beyond.