Women empowerment, covering gender gaps top priority of Govt: Mumtaz Tarar

APP23-15 ISLAMABAD: December 15 - Federal Minister for Human Rights, Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar addressing the national dialogue on “Closing the Gender Gap in Pakistan’s Electoral Rolls”. APP

ISLAMABAD, Dec 15 (APP):It is strategy of incumbent government to give priority to women’s economic empowerment, elimination of all forms of violence against women and promote gender equality in all spheres of social, political, and cultural lives.
Federal Minister for Human Rights, Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar here on Thursday said they focus on protecting rights of women through education, capacity building and ensuring equal opportunities for them besides giving them prominent position women within the decision and policy making process.
Addressing the National Dialogue on “Closing the Gender Gap in Pakistan’s Electoral Rolls”, as chief guest, he affirmed that the they followed a define agenda for gender equality and women empowerment to optimize their full potential.
The moot was conducted by National Commission on the Status of Women
(NCSW). The minister elaborated that the Ministry of Human Rights has formulated a draft National Policy Framework for Promotion and protection of Human Rights.
He shared that according to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s current estimate, 12 million women voters are unregistered. He said, “We could make effective electoral registrations of women by simplifying the CNIC procedure, establishing NADRA sub-offices for easy access to women besides mobilizing NADRA mobile teams in remote areas in remote areas.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said that currently NADRA has the capacity to issue 7000 CNIC cards per day whereas, to register the missing votes, 70,000 cards need to be issued every day.
He suggested including multiple sources of identification for registering voters instead of only CNIC and said that all those recorded under current census shall be registered as voters. He also recommended emergency legislation to empower NADRA and special registration offices, mobile vans and incentives for women.
Tahir Mehdi, an elections expert with Tabeer, a Non-government organization, said gender gap in the electoral rolls has been growing steadily since possession of CNIC was made a requirement to be included in the electoral rolls.
Tahir Mehdi stated that since a CNIC is required to be on the electoral rolls and to submit ones vote on polling day, the possession of a CNIC is also the right of every citizen.
He also talked about the new provisions in the Elections Act 2017 that call for the ECP and NADRA to take special measures to conduct female CNIC and voter registration in constituencies where the electoral rolls gender gap is greater than ten percent. NCSW and Tabeer analysis reveals that in fact the gap is less than 10 per cent in only two districts out of 134 total districts.
The event was also launch for a nationwide campaign of collective action to close the electoral rolls gender gap through CNIC registration. The campaign, to be led by NCSW, will be informed by the recommendations made at the roundtable and through upcoming consultations in each of the provinces.