A Study on Factors Affecting the Women’s Political Participation in Azad Jammu & Kashmir

by Saba Ghulam Nabi
Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) (Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir) is actually a part of the disputed State of Jammu & Kashmir. The total population of AJ&K is 4,319,394, and the female population is about 2, 211,445. The AJ&K interim constitution of 1970 unlocked political activities by introducing political reforms and a quota system for women in the legislative assembly. Later, the interim constitution of 1974 guaranteed the political participation of women by increasing the quota in the legislative assembly. Currently, women occupy a larger section of the population, and their political participation is less than that of male representation. Despite the constitutional arrangements to support women’s participation, financial resources, political parties’ dealing with female members, cultural bindings, male ascendency, and less priority to women in the decision-making process of parties, family issues are the factors that create hurdles for women to actively take part in politics of AJ&K. This paper analyses the factors that affect women’s representation in the political system. As such, this study is an endeavor to examine the participation of women in AJ&K politics and concurrently highlight the hindrances and challenges that affect women’s participation in politics.

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Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir