Gender gap in electoral role widens to 10.4%

ECP takes steps to increase registration of female residents


Our Correspondent April 29, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

A pilot project of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has revealed the gender gap in the electoral rolls published in March 2021, had further gone down to 10.4%, mainly because many women did not possess their computerised national identity cards (CNICs).

The ECP, in this regard, discussed a strategic plan to mitigate the gender gap in electoral rolls in a meeting at the ECP Secretariat on Thursday, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, said an ECP statement.

The pilot project was carried out in the recent past by the ECP in 20 districts to verify the gender gap in the electoral rolls and to identify reasons. During the meeting, the findings of the pilot project were shared by Nighat Siddique, the ECP Additional Director General, Gender Affairs.

Siddique informed the meeting that major reason for the gender gap was that a number of female residents of the 20 districts did not possess the CNICs. She also pointed out that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) registration centres were located at long distances.

The survey further hinted at a complex CNIC registration processes, socio-cultural challenges and lack of awareness as other major reasons of non-possession of the CNICs by the female population, the statement said.

Siddique apprised the Commission of the recommendations of the pilot project, including special measures to be taken by the ECP, NADRA and the ECP’s implementing partners to further mitigate the gender gap in the electoral rolls.

A strategy was formed on the basis of the recommendations, including an action plan for the next two years to assign roles to various stakeholders working with the ECP along with timelines against each strategic action.

The ECP directed for close coordination with the commission’s field offices, NADRA field coordinators and implementing partners working at the grassroots level communities across the country.

The meeting stressed the need for arranging gender sensitive trainings of the ECP and NADRA field staff. The ECP also emphasised to devise a monitoring mechanism for vigilant monitoring of the whole process of CNICs and voter registration along with the timelines.

The ECP appreciated the efforts of the Gender Affairs Wing for decreasing the gender gap in electoral rolls. The ECP also decided to hold next meeting in this regard on June 29.

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