ISLAMABAD - As many as 1,691 women candidates have filed nomination papers for participating in general elections 2018 including 436 contesting for National Assembly slots and 1,255 for Provincial Assemblies as compared to 1,171 in 2013.

According to the official data of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Punjab took lead with 664 women candidates aspiring for the Provincial Assembly as compared to 231 in last elections showing almost three time upward trend.

Whereas for the National Assembly, 236 women appeared on the political horizon from the thickly populated province coupled with the Federal capital participants in comparison to 123 candidates appeared to contest the elections in 2013, an official of ECP told APP.

Likewise, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa occupied second position in filing nomination papers with 88 women fighting for National Assembly seats as compared to 78 last time and 262 for the Provincial Assembly as compared to 229 previously held elections in 2013.

Women in Sindh showed a down ward trend, declining the figure from 99 in 2013 to 76 this time for NA seats while for the Provincial Assembly only 213 women submitted papers comparing 247 in previous polls.

Same trend was observed among the female candidates of Balochistan where only 36 women appeared for the NA slots and dropping the figure of 50 in last elections while in Provincial Assembly 116 come forward comparing 114 last time.

Meanwhile, the electoral rolls of Election Commission of Pakistan indicated that only 42.42 million women are registered to voters lists till September 2017 ignoring 12.17 million eligible women which are yet to be included.

According to the official data, a total of 97.01 million citizens are registered as voters including 54.59 million men and 42.42 million women voters.

The figures shows that men comprise 56.27 per cent of the current lists while women contribute only 43.7 per cent, official sources told APP.

They informed that in General Elections (GE) 2008, 35.606 million women were registered in electoral lists while in GE 2013, 37.636 million women voters were enrolled, followed by 40.708 million in 2016 and 42.42 million in 2017.

They further informed that the latest figures of 2017 showed that 24.518 million women are registered in Punjab, followed by 9.199 million in Sindh, 0.6 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1.5 million in Balochistan, 0.8 million in FATA and 0.3 million in Islamabad Capital Territory.

The official data further revealed that in 2013 voters electoral rolls, 1.5 million new voters were registered in Punjab after 2008, 0.91 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 0.58 million in Balochistan, 0.11 million in Sindh and 0.17 million in FATA.

Likewise, in the new voters lists till 2017, 2.94 million new women were registered in Punjab, 0.75 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 0.7 million in Sindh, 0.21 million in FATA and 0.14 million in Balochistan during this time span.