INITIATIVES TAKEN BY GENDER AFFAIRS WING

The Gender wing has taken the following initiatives to increase the participation of women / person with disabilities and other marginalized groups in electoral roll process.

1.     ECP has introduced a column in Form-XIV i.e. Statement of the Count (which is prepared by the Presiding Officer at close of the poll) requiring information on the number of women voters who cast their votes at each polling station enabling ECP to ascertain the number of women who exercise their right of vote across the country.

2.     ECP has included a module with the name of “Gender and Elections” in the capacity building trainings of ECP Officers so that a gender sensitized environment is created in ECP.

3.     The gender affairs wing of ECP has created a “Gender and Disability Electoral Working Group (GDEW)” with the aim of main streaming women and other marginalize group in to the political process. This working group will enlist the support of all stake holders and other organizations working in the field. In this regard meetings at all the four provincial headquarters with all the stake holders have already been conducted.

4.     Election Commission of Pakistan also declared the elections of a provincial constituency PK-95 Lower Dir (KPK) null and void on the ground that no women voters came out to vote in the said constituency. This decision will act as a deterrent and will safe guard any such future actions. The decision was set aside by the KPK High Court and ECP was asked to notify the Returned candidate. ECP however challenged the decision of KPK High Court in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the matter is still pending with the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan.

5.     The help of CSO’s working for the same aim is also being enlisted so as to maximize our outreach to women and other marginalized groups and to synchronize our efforts with these CSO’s.

6.     More and more women are being encouraged to join ECP so that gender balanced environment could be created.

7.     Steps are being taken to depute maximum no of female polling staff at the combined & female polling station to facilitate and encourage women to cast their vote.

8.     Consortium of 08 universities (two from each province) is being established to motivate youth and to engage them as agents for mobilizing women.

9.     Gender sensitized sessions are being delivered in the six week long Capacity Building Electoral Management Course (EMC) intended for capacity building of ECP officers and other trainings of polling personnel.

10.       ECP has conducted a survey of polling stations to make it accessible to persons with disabilities and recommendation of the survey like building of ramps etc. have been send to all the Chief Secretaries for implementation. Moreover gender sensitive check list for polling scheme has also been shared with Provincial Governments to facilitate women to accessible polling station.

11.       ECP is initiating a “Female NIC and Voter Registration Campaign” in
79 districts of Pakistan in the second week of November, 2017. The initiative will target 8,80,000 women and will mobilize/facilitate them to NADRA registration centers for acquisition of NIC. This will help in bridging the gap between male and female voters of the country.

12.       Gender sensitized symbols have been introduced in the list/chart of election symbols for contesting candidates.

13.       A “Day Care Centre” has also been established at ECP, Secretariat Islamabad to facilitate the female employees of ECP.

14.       Necessary measures have been taken for the dissemination of “Harassment of Women at Work Place Act 2010” in all the field and HQ offices of ECP throughout Pakistan so that all the male and female employees become aware of their rights and obligations towards each other.

15.       A committee to deal with the cases of Harassment at ECP has also been constituted under the chairpersonship of ADG (GA)           .