LAHORE: Need for ensuring registration of all women eligible for voting and their representation on offices and parliamentary boards of political parties was stressed at a dialogue on ‘Problems in Voting Rights of Women’ held here on Friday.
Participating in the dialogue held under the Women Voters Project of Aurat Foundation, Pakistan People’s Party MNA Yasmin Rehman said the concept of gender equality would be promoted in Pakistani society when men would accept women as equal. All the political parties had realised the importance of participation of women in the political process and had given them representations in their offices.
Pakistan Muslim League-Q MNA Mahnaz Rafi said that seats reserved for women in the assemblies and local bodies should not be reduced. Civil society organisations and media should highlight the importance of women in political process and the political parties preventing the women from casting votes should not be allowed to participate in the electoral process.
Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Sajida Mir said that most of Pakistani men were opposed to participation of women in politics. Women MPAs were discouraged when they tried to participate in the assembly proceedings.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Maiza Hameed said that women holding different offices in local bodies should ensure registration of maximum number of women voters irrespective of party affiliations.
Lahore High Court Bar Association president Justice Nasira Iqbal (retired) said that women should organise themselves for the solution of their problems.
Aurat Foundation regional coordinator Shumaila Tanvir said that a very large number of women in Pakistan was not only deprived of right of franchise but had not even been issued national identity cards.
Provincial Election Commissioner Qamar-uz-Zaman said the commission was responsible only for registration of voters and conduct of elections. It had computerised the data of all eligible voters and was making necessary corrections in it. Rules and regulations for registration of voters were formulated by the parliament.
National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) deputy general-manager Colonel Nawaz Ahmed said that Friday had been reserved exclusively for receiving applications and issuance of computerised national identity cards to women at 543 Nadra centres in the country.