ISLAMABAD - In a surprise departure from the male-dominated politics, Southern Punjab is set to see several female candidates challenging the feudal lords and the traditional electable.

The female candidates hailing from underdeveloped areas are mostly relatives of the politicians who could not contest elections due to some reasons. Some of them representing mediocre families are contesting for the first time with the aim to bring about a change in the poverty-stricken area.

Zartaj Gul Wazir from DG Khan set to contest from NA-191 against the feudal lords of the area. In 2013 general elections, Zartaj had secured around 40,000 votes.

The female candidate preferred to contest polls from her constituency for the second time with the aim to promote education in her area.

“I want to promote education in my area and will continue to fight the feudal political system,” Zartaj Gul Wazir shared with The Nation. She believed that education is a revenge of every excess, claiming she has forced feudal lords of the area for the first time to run their election campaign.

All eyes are set upon NA-191 Dera Ghazi Khan where Zartaj Gul is challenging the Leghari Sardar. She has reportedly remained in contact with the masses after losing the election 2013.

In the area of Taunsa Sharif (bordering KP in the north and Balochistan in the east, Rashida Farhan from ‘Aam Admi Tehreek’ party is contesting from the NA-189. The lady from underdeveloped area has the aim to eliminate ‘Vani’ custom and promote education in the area.

Vani (custom), or Swara, is a cultural custom found in some parts of the country whereby a young girl is forcibly married as part of punishment for a crime committed by her male relatives.

“I will fight for the people of my area facing a lot of issues. I will try to become the voice of people in the parliament to raise genuine issues,” Rahida Farhan claimed while talking to The Nation. Her husband is also contesting on the seat of MPA from same area. 

In the area of Vehari, Ayesha Nazir Jutt is contesting from NA-162 as an independent candidate. She was earlier awarded ticket from PTI but later withdrawn. However, the estranged PTI leader had said that she would give the party chairman a gift after winning the seat of NA-162.

In the area of Muzaffargarh, Zehra Sultan Bokhari wife of the political figure Basit Bokhari is also set to contest against his close relative from NA-184.

Likewise, Khadija Warran wife of political figure Amir Warran after the disqualification of her husband announced to contest from the seat of NA-173 (Bhawalpur area). She is contesting for the first time on the seat of National Assembly.

In the area of Bahawalnagar, Fatima Bashir Cheema daughter of renowned political figure Tahir Bashir Cheema is set to contest from NA-168.  Tehmina Dasti daughter of late Abdul Hameed Dasti from Muzaffargarh is set to contest from NA-182.

Political observers predicted that the trend will increase in the coming years with the enhancement of the literacy rate in the country. They referred to the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and several women who broke the traditions to head the govt, preside over the parliament proceedings or lead the ministries in the recent past. They indicated that success of the women on general seats will set the precedent for more female political activists to join the bandwagon.