CEC vows boosting woman voters’ registration countrywide

Mumtaz Alvi
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja vowed to boosting efforts for maximising registration of woman voters as part of Election Commission’s ongoing woman voters’ registration campaign.

The campaign, he emphasised, was aimed at bringing down the gender gap on electoral rolls before the general elections 2023. He also said the Election Commission is fully committed to improving electoral participation of vulnerable communities including women, persons with disabilities, transgender persons and non-Muslim minorities through extraordinary measures to register as well as educate them as required by the Elections Act. Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja was speaking here Saturday at the orientation workshop for senior management of Election Commission and National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Phase-IV of the campaign, which started in July 2021. He said the Election Commission will bolster its nationwide efforts to further bridge the gender gap. He noted the campaign, which was launched in October 2017, has been able to register 10.2 million women during its earlier three phases, bringing down the burgeoning gender gap to 12.37 million in April 2021.

The campaign works closely with Nadra and civil society organisations and is currently being implemented in 84 districts. The CEC told the participants that women are playing a critical role in all aspects of social and economic life in Pakistan. “The Election Commission will make all efforts to also enable them to participate in electoral processes in the spirit of Article 25 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality for all citizens,” he contended.

The CEC acknowledged the assistance provided by Nadra in making the women CNICs campaign a success. The orientation workshop was also attended by Election Commission members from Sindh and Balochistan, Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik, ECP Secretary Omer Hamid Khan, Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal, Additional Secretary Manzoor Ahmed Malik, provincial Election Commissioners, directors general of Nadra’s eight regions around the country and senior officials from both organizations. Representatives of the civil society organisations and development partners also attended the workshop.

The workshop was briefed on a series of measures that the Election Commission has so far taken to create an enabling environment for vulnerable communities to participate in the electoral processes and discussed mitigation plans to address multi-layered challenges that inhibit progress particularly in difficult and diverse terrains of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadra chairman expressed his gratitude to chief election commissioner for bringing together all relevant officials of Election Commission and Nadra which will ensure better planning, effective coordination and greater institutional ownership of this critically important issue of under-registration of woman voters. He said the Nadra will undertake necessary measures to smoothen the process of CNICs registration for vulnerable communities, particularly women, which is a legal prerequisite for their registration as voters.

He also instructed the Nadra senior staff to provide required assistance to Election Commission and other civil society organisations implementing the campaign, which includes provision of mobile registration vans whenever requisitioned by the Election Commission.