A woman casts her vote at a polling station, June 26, 2011. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD, Dec 25: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) does not have biometric record of as many as 3.72 million women voters.

According to Nadra’s district-wise data, Punjab tops the list where fingerprints and photographs of more than 2.62 million women have not been made available to the registration authority.

In Rawalpindi tehsil alone, out of 1.4 million registered voters, Nadra does not have the biometric record of 45,461 women.

In the federal capital, a city with less outreach problems and most literate people, 14,228 women are without biometrics.

Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), a conglomeration of 30 non-governmental organisations, also found it strange.

Fafen’s Chief Coordinator Mudassir Rizvi said: “Biometrics rule cannot be relaxed in the presence of female staff assisting women even in remote areas.”

However, Nadra said in its statement that relaxation had been provided to women against provisioning of their photographs considering social values.

“Withdrawal of this relaxation may exclude a significant number of women from voters list resulting in disenfranchisement. However, it can be withdrawn if Senate Standing Committee decides so. But it is not recommended by Nadra,” the registration authority said in the statement.

According to a senior official in National Database and Registration Authority, any female applicant who opted not to provide her photograph for CNIC would be instead verified in detail in the database.

This included scrutinising her family linkages, attestation and processing fingerprints. Still, as many as 70,000 women would have to go through this process in Lahore Cantt alone and close to 52,000 in Lahore City.

In Sialkot 45,228 women are without biometric authentication, more than 50,000 in Gujranwala, and 39,682 in Gujrat.

In Sindh, 540,000 women are without biometric authentication. Out of more than 3.3 million total voters in Balochistan there were 170,578 women voters without biometrics.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the highest number of women voters who have not provided biometrics were in Peshawar (32,107) followed by Abbotabad (21,629) and Mansehra (17,105).

Updated Dec 25, 2012 10:06pm

More From This Section

Comments (5) (Closed)

Jan 04, 2013 08:06am
As I know that one must undertake the biometric and must be photographed for the issuance of CNIC, and one cannot cast vote without a CNIC. How come millions of women can have vote (which means CNIC) without giving their biometric information? Is NADRA follows its standard procedures only occasionally!
Cyrus Howell
Jan 03, 2013 10:15pm
This was why the PPP and it's allies wanted a fast election. Now they are having second thoughts.
Cyrus Howell
Jan 03, 2013 10:10pm
"The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) does not have biometric record of as many as 3.72 million women voters. " Come on now. Did we really think they did?
Dec 26, 2012 07:35am
CJ should take suo moto, chief election commissioner also should act for conducting a fair election instead of singling out Karachi where they are planning to snatch the people of their right to choose local representatives
Sue Sturgess
Dec 28, 2012 02:26am
and what are the equivalent numbers for male voters?