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Islamabad

December 6, 2017

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ECP launches drive to bridge gap between male, female in voter lists

Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday formally launched an ambitious drive in 79 districts to try to bridge the increasing gap between male and female voters, as female voters are 43.73 per cent of total 97.02 million registered voters.
Interestingly, the gap between male and female voters increased from 10.97 million female voters in March 2013 to 12.17 million in October 2017. Experts say that without active involvement of political parties at the grass-root level, desired results may not be achieved. The Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) points out that the National Data and Registration Authority (Nadra) also needed to enhance its capability to cope with this national challenge.
Launching the ‘Female NIC and Voter Registration Campaign’ here, Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza said that one biggest challenge was the difference between male and female voters in the electoral rolls and to decrease this gap, the Election Commission had chalked out a four-pronged approach.
“We are trying to increase the number of female staff at the Election Commission. We are trying to increase the number of female polling staff at polling stations for the upcoming general elections. We also encourage women political representation and participation in political arena,” he said.
About the campaign, he explained that it would target unregistered women in 79 districts throughout Pakistan and through this campaign, unregistered women would be mobilized and educated to acquire NICs so that they could be added in electoral rolls.
He maintained this campaign was a collaborative effort of Nadra, ECP and civil society organisations. “ECP has always manifested its utmost efforts for all inclusive elections and today, I would like to convey through this event that ECP will take every step to mitigate the existing difference between male and female voters,” he said.
The campaign, which will continue till

April next year, will be covering 27 districts in Punjab, 16 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 24 in Sindh, 11 in Balochistan and Islamabad as well to target females, motivating them to obtain NICs for registration as voters.
Fafen emphasises that media should highlight the gravity of the issue to make state institutions respond to the gravity and sensitivity of the issue in the context of upcoming general election.

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