The Pakistan flag with a tweet about women voting for the first time.

Uzairmaqbool /Pixabay IftikharFirdous/Twitter Remix by Samantha Grasso

This is what it looks like when Pakistani women legally vote for the first time

The images are powerful.


Samantha Grasso

Layer 8

For Pakistan’s 2018 general election, women in some areas of the country are able to vote for the first time. And in celebration, voters and spectators alike are sharing photos and videos of women lined up to vote.

Today, Pakistanis across the country voted for a prime minister, choosing between cricket legend Imran Khan and three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (According to Sky News, Sharif was arrested on corruption charges earlier this month.) Additionally, nearly 200 women are campaigning for local positions, and 13 transgender candidates are running as well.

In the past 40 years, women have been unable to vote in Upper Dir, a conservative district in Northern Pakistan. Women were told that election day violence was “too dangerous.” However, more than 9 million women were newly registered to vote prior to this election, the Guardian reported.

One particular photo, taken by Pakistani journalist Iftikhar Firdous, shows women walking to go cast their first votes in a northern region of Pakistan.

Another shot shows women from North Waziristan voting for the first time as well.

Many have responded with excitement for the historic day.

Despite the celebration, the day’s election still faced violence, as at least 28 people died and 30 were injured as a result of a bombing near a polling station in Quetta, Pakistan. ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Other tweets encouraged women to come out for the vote, while additional photos showed queues of women waiting to participate in the election.

BuzzFeed News reported that Pakistan ended this de facto women ban in October, and election officials have mandated that at least 10 percent of all votes cast must be from women. However, that hasn’t stopped some men from attempting to prevent women from voting, with some reports show men are turning women away.

Videos, too, captured the resilience of Pakistani women who were dedicated to voting. This video shows women from that Upper Dir area entering their polling place to vote for the first time.

Another video shows a daughter driving her mother to a polling station.

This video, for example, shows an elder woman being escorted into the polling place by security.

And across the country, women voters showed off their involvement in democracy by posting photos of the ink on their thumbs. The semi-permanent election ink is used to prevent voter fraud.

Polling places closed at 6 p.m. today, and the results will be announced Thursday.

H/T BuzzFeed News

The Daily Dot