Women’s political participation is one of the fundamental human rights worldwide. According to feminist perspective in Pakistan political sphere is attached with masculinity while femininity is confined to private sphere. The present research study mainly focused to address the socio-cultural barriers to women political participation. The study was conducted in two tehsil namely Takhat Bahi and Katlang of District Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Researcher used quantitative research design and data was collected from 285 elected local leaders with simple random sampling technique. Among the total respondents 100 women elected members and 185 men elected members were selected. Researcher collected directly data from men elected members through interview schedule while women research assistant collected data from women elected members. Statistical data was analyzed with the help of SPSS and regression analysis test was applied to draw the results that which factors are greatly influence the women political participation. The statistical results indicated that patriarchal structure of society is significantly influence women low political participation at P-value (.002) and β value is positive (2.632). Similarly, the women subordinate role in social sphere is greatly influence the low political participation at P-value (.015) β value is positive (2.321). The study concluded that women are oppressed due to her gender and their political participation is discouraged due to her gender. It is suggested that government should increase the women quota and make strategic planning and interventions to enhance women political participation.
Women, Political Participation, Local Governance, Challenges, Opportunities, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.