Lack of CNICs behind gender gap in electoral rolls

Published April 30, 2021
A meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan was informed on Thursday that the gender gap in electoral rolls had come down to 10.4 per cent. — APP/File
A meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan was informed on Thursday that the gender gap in electoral rolls had come down to 10.4 per cent. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan was informed on Thursday that the gender gap in electoral rolls had come down to 10.4 per cent as was evident from electoral rolls published by ECP in March 2021.

Briefing the meeting about the pilot project in 20 districts of the country to ascertain the reasons behind the gender gap in electoral rolls, the ECP’s additional director general for gender affairs Nighat Siddique said that one of the major reasons for the gap was non-possession of CNICs by female residents of these districts.

She said that distant Nadra registration centres, complex CNIC registration processes, socio-cultural challenges and lack of awareness were the major reasons for non-possession of CNICs by the female population of the districts.

She said that the gender gap in electoral rolls was slowly decreasing in the country and it had further come down to 10.4pc, as the electoral rolls published in March had shown.

The meeting was informed about recommendations of the pilot project, including special measures to be taken by the ECP, Nadra and ECP’s implementing partners to further cut the gender gap in electoral rolls.

The gender gap has come down to 10.4 per cent as is evident from electoral rolls of 2021, ECP meeting told

The ECP directed close coordination with its field offices, Nadra field coordinators and implementing partners working with grass-roots level communities to further narrow down the gap.

It was also stressed during the meeting that gender-sensitive training sessions should be arranged for the ECP and Nadra field staff engaged for NIC/voter registration campaign. The ECP also emphasised the need to devise a monitoring mechanism for vigilant monitoring of the entire process of NIC/voter registration along with timelines.

A senior ECP official told Dawn that the gender gap in Punjab alone was more than the gap in the three other provinces and the federal capital combined.

He said the total number of voters in Punjab was 67.52 million, which includes 37m (55 per cent) male and 30.52m (45 per cent) female voters, showing a gap of 6.48m between male and female voters.

Sindh accounts for a gender gap of 2.55m as its 24.94m registered voters include 13.75m (55 per cent) male and 11.19m (45 per cent) female voters.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) the gap is higher as compared to Sindh. The total number of registered voters in the province is 19.96m, including 11.27m (56 per cent) male and 8.68m female voters with a gap of 2.58m.

The situation is even worse in Balochis­tan where the total number of voters is 4.91 million — 3.81m (57 per cent) male and 2.10m (43 per cent) female voters.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2021

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