KARACHI - More than 20,700 women in provincial capital’s South District are out of voters lists, mainly because they have not been issued computerised national identity cards (CNICs), says a survey report prepared by a non-government organisation.

The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), a member of Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), has urged the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take urgent steps so that these women can exercise their right to vote in the coming general elections.

As per details, PPF in collaboration with FAFEN, held a press briefing at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) here Friday on “Improving women’s participation in electoral process”.

Project Coordinator Naseem Akhtar Shaikh said PPF, from July 2017 to April 2018, pinpointed more than 22,000 women in South District who were not issued CNICs. PFF assisted 1,300 women in getting their CNICs and more than 3,000 others in reaching the NADRA centres in South District so that they could be registered as voters.

PPF, during a special drive under the ECP for registration of voters, also went house-to-house in 125 statistical blocks in South District to pinpoint the women who were not issued CNICs. With assistance of EPC and NADRA officials many of these women were facilitated to get CNICs and register as voters, either at their doorstep or at the nearest registration centres. A mobile van of NADRA was arranged for fulltime and another for part time to expedite this process. Officials of NADRA Centre at Chakiwara, Lyari extended valuable cooperation in this regard.

PPF also facilitated six vision-impaired male and female members of a family in getting their CNICs. Moreover, 240 non-Muslim women were also assisted to get their CNICs.

Union Council Chairmen Tajuddin, Amjad Aba and Haji Hassan; councillors Safiya, Ameen Baloch and Orangzeb; District Election Commission South Samiullah, Deputy Director (Operations) Maqsood Ahmed and other officials of NADRA fully facilitated PFF. Shaikh said that without their cooperation it would be impossible to facilitate so many women in getting their CNICs and votes registered.

However, PPF appealed to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to do the needful so that these out-of-electoral rolls women could also exercise their right to vote in the coming general elections.