Pakistan’s electoral rolls published by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October 2017 indicate that there are 12.17 million fewer women registered as voters as compared to men. Of a total of 97.02 million citizens registered as voters, 54.59 million are men (56.27%) and 42.42 million are women (43.72%). Although 4.86 million women have been added to the electoral rolls between May 2013 and October 2017, the male-female voter gap has not reduced. In fact, the gap between male and female voters increased from 11.01 million in March 2013 to 12.17 million in October 2017, suggesting that the issue is chronically deep-rooted and requires extraordinary institutional, political and civil society efforts to address it. This gap is likely to increase by more than a million by next year, risking disenfranchisement of millions of women in the General Elections (GE) of 2018.
The male-female gap in voters as of October 2017 is highest in Punjab, where 6.7 million fewer women are registered as voters as compared to men. This is followed by a gap of 2.2 million women in Sindh, 1.9 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 0.57 million in Balochistan, 0.52 million in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and 52,446 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Possession of a National Identity Card (NIC) is a pre-requisite for registering as a voter. Almost all women who are not registered as voters do not possess NICs. Any effort to improve women voters’ registration, therefore, cannot be successful without active engagement and support of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), which registers citizens and issues NIC.
The project comprises of the following five key components / activities, to be implemented by the GEESE,
- Project initiation and mobilization
- Training of Partner Organizations
- Engagement and Mobilization with local influential and professionals for increasing women’s registration
- Listing of unregistered women
- Facilitation of Women for NIC Registration
Under this project, GEESE will facilitate 18051 un-registered fresh women in obtaining their CNIC; following key activities will be held in District Mansehra and Battagram;
- Public Forums
- Meeting with Stakeholders (Government Official (District and Union Councils)/Local Governments' Representatives/Schools' and Colleges' Principals/Media/Officer Bearers of Political Parties/Parliament's and Provincial Assemblies' Members)
- Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Material
- Arrangement for Mobile Registration Vans (MRVs) for facilitation of 30% of targeted women 5415
- Vehicles to NADRA Registration Centers (NRC Visits) for facilitation of 70% of targeted women 12636