ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought the help of political parties to bridge the gender gap by ensuring that the maximum number of women participate in the 2018 polls.
The commission, in a letter it wrote to 16 political parties, pointed out that there was a huge gap of 12 million between men and women registered as voters.
An updated electoral roll showed 42.4 million females against 54.5m males out of approximately 97m registered as voters.
“As head of a political party you are requested to help ECP in bridging this gap by asking your workers and supporters to encourage women, religious minorities, disabled persons and other marginalised segments of society to get registered as voters and use their right to franchise in the ensuing elections,” reads the letter, a copy of which Dawn has.
It noted that a failure to this effect would make doubtful the transparency of general elections while recalling that it was the ECP’s constitutional obligation to ensure equal and just participation of all in an electoral exercise and to conduct free and impartial elections.
Article 25 grants each and every citizen equal right and equal participation in the election process.
The 2nd Five-Year Plan suggested formation of a gender wing in the ECP as part of enshrined goals, the letter says.
Recipient of letters are Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Muttahida Qaumi Movement deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar, PML-Quaid president Chaudhry Shujaat Husasain, Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamaat-i-Islami emir Senator Sirajul Haq, National Party president Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, National Peoples Party president Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, PML-Functional president Pir Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara, Awami Muslim League president Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Qaumi Watan Party president Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and PML-Zia president Ijazul Haq.
courtesy : dawn news