The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has voiced deep concerns regarding the startling absence of approximately 10 million women from the electoral rolls. This alarming issue has prompted the PPP to call for immediate and concerted efforts to address the pressing matter.
Malaika Raza, General Secretary of the Human Rights Cell of PPP, issued a statement on Monday expressing the party’s apprehensions. She highlighted the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) assertion that more than 10 million women in the country lack Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) and are consequently disenfranchised.
Raza underscored the gravity of the situation by recalling that in the previous elections, a staggering 11 million women were disenfranchised due to the absence of CNICs. This ongoing disenfranchisement raises significant concerns and necessitates immediate action, according to Raza.
In a resounding call to action, Raza urged the ECP, the caretaker government, and all political parties to collaborate and extend their support in rectifying this exclusionary trend. She stressed the urgency of formulating a concrete policy aimed at facilitating the registration of these disenfranchised women, thereby enabling their full participation in the democratic process.
The predicament faced by these women goes beyond electoral exclusion; many of them lack fundamental identification documents, including identity cards and even bank accounts. This lack of official recognition severely hampers their overall development and access to essential services and opportunities. By prioritizing their right to obtain identity cards and ensuring financial inclusion, the nation can ensure that every woman’s voice is not only heard but also counted in the upcoming elections.
Raza emphasized the vital importance of collective efforts in forging a more inclusive society. She pointed out, “We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that millions of women are being denied their right to vote due to bureaucratic hurdles and a lack of support. It is the duty of the government, the Election Commission, and political parties to collaborate in addressing this issue, ensuring that no woman is left marginalized.”
The PPP’s Human Rights Cell has thrown its weight behind measures aimed at tackling this critical issue and has called upon relevant authorities to take swift action. Empowering these women by assisting them in obtaining the necessary identification documents and facilitating their registration on the electoral rolls is paramount.
As this issue gains prominence, it serves as a stark reminder of the imperative to remove barriers and hurdles that restrict the participation of women in the democratic process. Ensuring that these disenfranchised women are granted their rightful place in the electoral process is not just a matter of political importance; it is a matter of fundamental human rights and democratic integrity.