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These Pakistani Women Are Voting For The First Time And People Are Celebrating

One photo, taken by Iftikhar Firdous, showed women in a remote region walking to cast their ballot.

Posted on July 25, 2018, at 7:19 a.m. ET

People are sharing a historic image of women in Pakistan walking to vote for the first time today.

Women in Bayzai sub-division of Mohmand Tribal District (ex-Fata), 5 kilometres from the Afghan border got out to vote for the first time. (My hometown as well) #GeneralElection2018 https://t.co/uTgBr2xMQ3

Ifitikhar Firdous / Twitter

The image was taken by Pakistani journalist Ifikhar Firdous in a northern region of the country.

Pakistan is currently going to the polls for a national election — and women are able to vote for the first time in some parts of the country.

Pakistan only formally ended the de facto ban on women voting in October last year. Women have often remained unable to vote thanks to local and societal traditions and pressures, a Human Rights Watch report noted this year. Ahead of the election, officials have said at least 10% of the votes cast must be from women — otherwise the region's results will be invalidated. But there have been some reports of locals attempting to prevent women from voting. BBC Urdu reported that men in Chakwal's Dharnal area turned women away, telling the reporter: "It is un-Islamic for women to vote."
Akhtar Soomro / Reuters

Pakistan only formally ended the de facto ban on women voting in October last year. Women have often remained unable to vote thanks to local and societal traditions and pressures, a Human Rights Watch report noted this year.

Ahead of the election, officials have said at least 10% of the votes cast must be from women — otherwise the region's results will be invalidated.

But there have been some reports of locals attempting to prevent women from voting. BBC Urdu reported that men in Chakwal's Dharnal area turned women away, telling the reporter: "It is un-Islamic for women to vote."

But many people were supportive of women voting, and hundreds shared Firdous's image, saying that this was what Pakistan was all about.

Aasma Qamer / Twitter
Hasan Saeed / Twitter
Bethan McKernan / Twitter

Some said it was simply a great picture.

Suddaf Chaudry / Twitter

The main contest is between the parties of ex-international cricketer Imran Khan and former PM Nawaz Sharif.

Hanif Dawar / Twitter

Almost 200 women are standing for local seats, split between the two main parties running.

Diaa Hadid / Twitter

And other heartwarming videos and images were shared online, like this interview with a mother taking her daughter to vote for the first time on their motorbike.

Daughter taking her mother to polling station on a motorbike in Karachi. These stories make me so happy

There was footage of women across the country voting for the first time.

Footage of women voting in highly conservative Upper Dir, in North Pakistan, for the first time in forty years. They were banned, supposedly, because gunfights on polling day made it too risky. Wonderful to see the return https://t.co/4L3o855kvq

For the first time in North Waziristan women are coming out to vote, “ Ayaz Khan, DC Tribal District NWA, tells Geo’s Rasool Dawar. (Image by Rasool Dawar) https://t.co/59G6nSxaUD

Yesterday, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai urged people — especially women — across the country to vote.

The people of Pakistan - especially women - the power is in your hands. Get up, go and vote! Democracy shall win! #Election2018 🇵🇰🗳 https://t.co/LqVRUK9cjO

Although Yousafzai is Pakistani, she has been resident in the UK since terrorists tried to murder her in 2012. Because she doesn't live in Pakistan at the moment, it's believed she will be unable to vote in the election.

Polling will end at 6 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) Wednesday and the results will be announced Thursday.

Although the election has already been marred by violence, with at least 31 killed in a suicide attack claimed by ISIS in the city of Quetta, people celebrated the historic step forward for women.
Fayaz Aziz / Reuters

Although the election has already been marred by violence, with at least 31 killed in a suicide attack claimed by ISIS in the city of Quetta, people celebrated the historic step forward for women.

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