Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics Series


Friday, April 12, 2019, 2:00pm to 3:30pm


CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S153

"De Facto Suffrage: A Field Experiment to Improve Women’s Turnout in Pakistan’s General Elections"


Sarah Khan, Postgraduate Associate, MacMillan Center, Yale University.

Co-sponsored by Brown University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Selmon Rafey


Ashutosh Varshney, Associate. Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Brown University.

Emmerich Davies, Faculty Associate. Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Patrick Heller, Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Brown University.

Vipin Narang, Associate Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Sarah Khan is a postgraduate associate at the Yale MacMillan Center. Her research interests lie at the intersection of gender and comparative politics, with a regional specialization in South Asia. In her work, she explores gender gaps in political preferences, and the barriers to women’s participation and substantive representation in Pakistan. Additionally, she explores questions related to the prevention of violence against women. Her research has been generously supported by grants from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, the Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) Governance Initiative, and the National Science Foundation.

Khan has worked with Ali Cheema, Shandana Mohmand, and Asad Liaqat to research potential pathways to increasing women’s voter registration and turnout in Pakistan, culminating in a paper entitled “Exercising Her Right: Civic and Political Action as Pathways for Increasing Women’s Turnout in Pakistan.” According to the team, “there is a large and persistent gender gap in voter registration and turnout in Pakistan, making for a heavily male-skewed electorate in all levels of Pakistani elections. This has implications both for the quality of democracy, and for women’s substantive representation in politics.”