For the first time woman from district Swat and Dir in Khyber Paktunkhwa are taking part in the local elections. For the first time in the history of Malakand Division, a Christian woman Hina Patras has emerged as a candidate for local elections.
Passionate to win, Hina Patras told BBC in an interview, “I belong to an area that has been affected by terrorism, and this is why I am a bit fearful as well. I am taking part in this election in the shadow of fear. But I have the full support of my family.”
She also said that not only the Christian Community but the Muslims are also supporting me in my cause. “People are not only happy that I have taken part in the election they have also assured me of complete support in every possible way.”
Hina also told BBC that the reason for her taking part in elections is to solve the problems that the Christian community faces and to take a stand for the problems of local women in the area.
Sana Patras, sister of Hina Patras has already been elected as district councilor. The Christian community is already rejoicing after her election. A woman from Mingora recounts the time when due to fear of Taliban, females of the area had been restricted to their houses. The participation of women in the local election is proof that woman are now free to practice their rights. Hinas nomination as candidate has also elevated the rank of woman on a social scale.
According to the schedule of election commission of Pakistan, local election will be held on 30th May in Khyber Paktunkhwa. The results will be announced till10th of June and in the next step, the election for Nazim and Deputy Nazim will be held.
Earlier in the tribal areas there was a ban on woman casting votes by the candidates and the political parties. Still a lot of women are taking part in politics. The percentage of woman taking part in general elections, for seats in the national and provincial assemblies has also doubled from 200 in 2008 to more than 450 in 2013.