Why did 11 million fewer women than men vote in Pakistan’s 2018 general elections? Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a much higher gender gap in each province’s largest metropolitan city compared to its remaining constituencies. This gap relates to men’s views about women’s vote and women’s knowledge of politics and the electoral process. Poor knowledge is, in turn, associated with a low interest in politics, which links to the failure of political parties to directly engage women and address their issues. These challenges can be addressed with better targeted voter education campaigns and a concerted effort by political parties to engage women directly and reduce their perception of being ‘politically invisible’.
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