SIALKOT - The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has approved a project for Sialkot district for increasing the women's voting turnout from 20 percent as experienced in 2013 general elections) to almost 40 percent.

The project would formally be launched on July 24,2017 during a special launching ceremony. According to the senior NED officials, the project would soon be implemented in Sialkot district in active collaboration with a local NGO for increasing female voters' turnout in the general elections.

Unveiling some salient features of the project, an expert said that according to the statistics provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the turnout of the female voters in Sialkot district was 20 percent in 2013 general elections, which would now double in coming general elections. The ECP results revealed that only 20 percent of the total female voters cast their votes in 2013 general elections.

He added that the capacity building of women would be ensured. It would focus on organizational management, women's political empowerment and awareness raising, social mobilization and campaigning in Sialkot district ahead of the 2018 general elections, he said.

He said that National Endowment for Democracy (NED) would also ensure the women voters' training on fair functioning of electoral process in a democratic set-up, importance of right to vote and the rationale basis for doing that, disadvantages of taking irrational decisions and importance of women voters' increased turnover.

Mobilisation of the communities would also be conducted for registration of those women voters who may have been missed previously or may be new eligible ones, he said.

Arshad Mehmood revealed that the Data Collection, Issuance of CNICs to at least 90 percent of women living in the selected communities and their registration as voters would also be conducted in Sialkot district. He added that maximum motivation would be given for increased turnover of women voters in the general elections 2018 in Sialkot district under this project.