Initial Phase

The Initial Phase 1947-1958

The first Constituent Assembly of the Dominion of Pakistan had only two women members, namely:

 Women Members of the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan 1947 – 1954

Sr. No. Name Constituency
1 Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz West Pakistan
2 Begum Shaista Ikramullah East Pakistan

Source: Father & Daughter; A Political Autobiography, pp 185 by Jahan Ara Shahnawaz

This Assembly was replaced by a nominated Chamber in 1955 after the then Governor General Ghulam Mohammad dismissed this Assembly on October 24, 1954. The new House did not have a single woman Member.

The first Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, passed in 1956, provided 10 reserved seats for women in the single-chamber Parliament (05 from West Pakistan and 05 from East Pakistan).

The significant feature in this regard was the “Principle of Female suffrage and Women’s Reserved Seats”  — A duel voting right, under which the women were not only eligible to vote for a general seat but also for the women  seats’ candidates.

No elections were, however, held under this Constitution as the same was abrogated with the proclamation of first Marshal Law on October 8, 1958.