CEC calls for urgent steps to bridge male-female voter gap

Updated Jun 04 2020

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Details of CNIC holders missing from electoral list sought. — AFP/File
Details of CNIC holders missing from electoral list sought. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on Wednesday called for taking urgent measures to bridge the gap between male and female voters.

Presiding over a meeting here, he issued directives to officers concerned to get details of all CNIC holders missing out of electoral rolls from Nadra.

He also ordered an exercise in coordination with Nadra and other relevant institutions to ascertain the reasons for the whopping gap which has climbed to over 12.5 million.

He said that a comprehensive strategy should be devised to remove the gender gap among voters and a swift implementation of the same.

The CEC asked the gender and electoral wings of the commission to identify areas with huge gap between male and female voters.

Details of CNIC holders missing from electoral list sought

He said voters’ registration should be started in these areas on an emergency basis under a cohesive strategy to bridge the gap between male and female voters. He said a public awareness campaign should also be launched in this respect.

Earlier, additional director general (gender affairs) gave a detailed briefing to the CEC on gap between male and female voters.

Details of the revised electoral rolls released by the ECP in April last year revealed that the gap between male and female voters has widened to 12.54 million, with just two districts of Punjab accounting for over one million of the difference.

The district-wise statistics of voters showed Lahore district continuing to be in the lead with a gap of 616,945 between male and female voters, who numbered 3.05m and 2.43m respectively.

In Faisalabad, the number of male voters according to the list was 2.47m and that of women a little over 2m, reflecting a gap of 479,484.

The 20 districts with the largest gender gaps include 17 districts of Punjab, two of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one of Sindh.

In Gujranwala, the number of male voters is 1.57m compared to 1.2m women voters; the difference between them comes to 368,557.

In Rahim Yar Khan, the number of male and female voters is 1.38m and 1.04m, respectively; the difference is 342,744.

In Karachi (West), the difference is 334,227 as the district has 1.02m male and 691,870 women voters.

In Sheikhupura, the number of male voters is slightly over a million with 735,651 women. The difference is 271,121.

In Sialkot district, the number of male voters is 1.32m with 1.06m women. The difference is over 260,000.

Kasur and Peshawar are next in line with a gap of 262,544 and 261,140, respectively.

There is a gap of 230,673 in Bahawalnagar, 222,582 in Multan, 221,513 in Sargodha, 212,445 in Vehari, 211,372 in Bahawalpur, 209,262 in Okara and 202,363 in Khanewal.

In Mardan, the gap is a little short of 200,000, while Jhang, Gujrat and Rawalpindi districts have a gap of 179,150, 168,486 and 167,558, respectively.

The women representation among voters is lowest in erstwhile Frontier Region Bannu at 22 per cent, followed by 31pc in North Waziristan, 34pc in Kohlu, 36pc in Qila Abdullah and 38pc each in Dera Bugti and South Waziristan.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020