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Research papers, case studies, situationers and other documents on Pakistani women, their rights and their involvement in politics, governance and decision-making

W3P – Creating new grounds for Women’s Empowerment through Political Participation (2003)
The Local Government Ordinance 2001 – a land mark in the history of Pakistan is based on the Devolution of Power plan providing 33% reserve seats for women in all local councils. Increasing the number of women in political arena was one step but making them aware of their roles & responsibilities regarding the local government system was more crucial. Numbers are a necessary but not sufficient condition for women to make a difference in governmental decision-making. Therefore accepting this challenge, the Ministry of Women Development, Social Welfare & Special Education (MoWD) has launched a project of Women’s Political Participation Project (W3P) for building the capacity of new women councilors. W3P is funded by NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development) and implemented by MoWD through UNDP.

Women win record seats (2002)
All the attention focused on the electoral gains made by the religious right is overshadowing a key trend in the results of Pakistan's general polls last week - the sizeable number of women elected to its parliament. Find out more in this news article from Inter-Press Service.

Politics-Pakistan: Local polls make women confident (2001)
In Pakistan, women can hope for better health and other social services after a local poll elected women to seats in village councils for the first time. The New Year's Eve election took place in 18 districts of Pakistan, which earmarked a third of the seats in village councils for women. However, though the local polls installed women in positions of influence, many are convinced the status of women will not improve until traditional male-dominated social relationships are challenged. Find out more in this news article from Inter-Press Service.

Women rights situation in Pakistan (2001)
Human rights monitors and women's groups believe that a narrow interpretation of Shari'a has had a harmful effect on the rights of women and minorities, as it reinforces popular attitudes and perceptions and contributes to an atmosphere in which discriminatory treatment of women and non-Muslims is more readily accepted. Read this report from the US State Department.

For Pakistan's women, election quotas are a start (2001)
Pakistan's military regime has no shortage of critics. But the quota system that reserves one-third of seats for women in the local district elections is earning positive marks from some feminists. While Gen. Pervez Musharraf's plan for political reform has been criticized by the two parties who have alternately rule for most of the past dozen years, some rights activists say opportunities for women now are greater even than during the tenure of the Islamic world's first woman prime minister. Benazir Bhutto twice headed governments during Pakistan's 11 years of democracy from 1988 to 1999. Read more about this feature from the Christian Science Monitor.

Women in Pakistan
The status of women in Pakistan is not homogenous because of the interconnection of gender with other forms of exclusion in the society. There is considerable diversity in the status of women across classes, regions, and the rural/urban divide due to uneven socioeconomic development and the impact of tribal, feudal, and capitalist social formations on women’s lives. However, women’s situation vis-à-vis men is one of systemic subordination, determined by the forces of patriarchy across classes, regions, and the rural/urban divide.
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Women in Pakistan politics: From Fatima Jinnah to Kulsoom Nawaz (2000)
This April 2000 feature article discusses Pakistani women's involvement in politics since the time of the British colonial rule.