Byline: Sobia Naseer and Ruqia Kalsoom
National integration has become the most persistent need in the contemporary world. It plays a vital role for the socio-economic and political development of any society. The process of National Integration can be development when all the segments of socity irrespective of gender are involved in the decision making process. Women in the developing states particularly in Pakistan are facing several obstacles and challenges to the political participation regarding their political rights, gender disparity, patriarchal societal trends and discriminatory attitudes of political parties which created hinderance in the way of national integration. There are socioeconomic barriers to restrict the participation of women in the mainstream politics which resulted in the inbalanced system of political and national integration. Women's role in the politics has been confined to the supporting roles in their political families generally in Pakistani politics.
There are multiple obstacles which are hindering their way to perform their role in the national politics. This research illustrates, that a number of strategies have been deployed in Pakistan, by political elites to create national integration without ensuring women participation in national politics. This study aims to address the obstacles and challenges faced by women while gaining their political rights.
National integration is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. It is the process of bringing together all the members of society irrespective of their class colour and gender, by reducing their differences and blunting the edge of their ethnic, regional and parochial affiliations. Hence, the creation of harmony and integration is the most thriving task in the hetrogenous societies which are facing the issue of gender discrimination. In these societies, National integration is considered, the most essential condition for the economic and political upbringing. National integration is worldwide phenomenon and it is obvious from the history that it is the common problem faced by almost all of the states at various stages of the history. Women are not accepted as a political ally in the political field in general and in rural areas in particular. Equal political participation of males and females in every field of politics is a precondition for the crestion of national cohesiveness.
The number of women in Politics and in political parties determines the effectiveness of their representation. Therefore, there is no constitutional restriction for women's political participation in mainstream politics of Pakistan. However, their existence in politics remains insignificant because of social, cultural, economic and political constraints. The major obstacles that tackle any serious difference of opinion to challenge the gender disparity throughout the party system in Pakistani Politics are, how Pakistani Political Parties characterize women's participation as individuals, not as members of a group that has experienced discrimination. Women's participation in party politics promotes undermines their sense of collective identity.
Women's participation has been remained insignificant at the provincial as well as national level in throughout the history of Pakistan. There were socioeconomic barriers to restrict the participation of women in the mainstream politics, Women's role in the politics has been confined to the supporting roles in their political families generally in Pakistani politics. The political leaders are not even capable to designed a balanced political syatem which could discourage the gender based discrimination. Due to which the political system in Pakistan dragged towards the male dominated system, which is considered a major hurdle in the way of national integration.
There are multiple obstacles which are hindering their way to perform their role in the politics. Pakistan has tried to fulfill the promises to bring women into mainstream politics through proportional representation in politics. On the other hand, there is a wide gap between promise and result. The influence of the State to interpret its promise to gender impartiality into existing realism is the most important challenge face by women in Pakistan.1
There are various discrepancies amongst women politicians on ideological, racial, spiritual, economic, societal, and other differentiations in the politics of Pakistan. Though there were women politicians who disagreed gender as a factor in determining their precedence's in policy issue and as a substitute point to other significant factors such as party strategy and party regulations that have more pressure on their political decision-making. In accumulation, there are male politicians who also precede women's interests and form alliances with women politicians in order to support the interests of women.2
Women's Identity in Political Party
Women's participation in party politics is the challenge of having their sense of collective identity. Not astonishingly, those women who have attained positions of political power in South Asia do not be obliged these positions to political parties. Nor have parties lived up to their promise to concentrate on gender inequality. Such commitment has only come out while movements that have identified themselves with women's communal distinctiveness have worked closely with political parties.
Women have been historically absent from the discourse of state and citizenship. Their relation to the state is mediated by their immediate male relatives. Women's relational identity, as members of families and communities, makes problematic...