Election 2024: Great enthusiasm being witnessed among female voters in KP

Author: APP

Great enthusiasm is being witnessed among female voters of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ahead of General Election 2024.

Sidra Sheraz and her sister Samina Qaiser, the young female voters of Wapda Town Nowshera district were excited to exercise their right of vote for the first time in February 8, 2024 General Election after their names were enrolled by ECP.

“We are eagerly awaiting of the February 8 general election and would cast our first vote and become part of the electoral process viz a viz decision making for setting of future Govt,” said Sidra who associated with the teaching profession, adding that women were about half of the country’s population and their votes would play a key role in deciding fates of political parties.

“I would cast my first vote based on political parties’ past performance record and manifestos” she said, adding votes of young voters, especially females would be a deciding factor in February 8 General Election.

According to ECP’s data, approximately 127 million registered voters would exercise their right of franchise in the upcoming general election. About 72.31 million (56.9pc) of total voters were registered in Punjab, 26.65 million voters are in Sindh (21pc), 21.69 million voters (17.1pc) in KP while 5.28 million ( 4.2pc) of all registered voters in Balochistan were exercise their right of votes in 2024 general election.

The total number of registered voters was recorded in 2018 as 106 million which had increased to 127 million this year. The gender gap among voters slashed with an addition of 11.74 million female voters compared to 9.28m male voters, to the electoral rolls since the 2018 general election raising the total number of registered voters to 127 million in 2023.

The total number of registered voters in the country in 2018 was nearly 106 million including 59.22m men and 46.73m women voters with 12.49 million deferences in all provinces of Pakistan.

This difference of 12.49 million were further increased to an all-time high of 12.72m next year when 62.55 million men and 49.83 million women were found eligible to cast a vote.

A significant drop in the gender gap was witnessed last year when the total number of registered male voters slashed from 66.50 million to 66.40 million, while the number of women jumped from 54.69 million to 55.78 million.

Similarly, over 21 million voters were added to the electoral rolls since the 2018 elections in Pakistan where the number of women had swelled from 46.73 million in the last polls to 58.47 million in 2023.

Alaike, the number of male voters jumped from 59.22 million in 2018 to 68.50 million by July 25, 2023.

“My father has cooperated me a lot while registering my vote with ECP that would help me to poll my first vote on February 8, 2023,” said Sidra Qasier, another young voter of Wapda Town, Peshawar.

“Casting of vote is a national obligation and it is our moral duty to cast votes in large number and contribute in strengthening of democracy in the country that returned after a lot of sacrifices by the democratic forces,” she said.

ECP statistics disclosed that there were around 57.1 million youth aged between 18 and 35, making up 45pc of those, who are eligible to vote.

The number of voters aged 36 to 45 years comes to 27.79 million ie 21.88pc and the two age groups comprise 84.81 million voters or two-thirds of the total 127 million voters in Pakistan.

“The role of young voters, especially females representing nearly 50 percent of the population, would be a deciding factor in February 8 General Election,” said AH Hilali, former Chairman Political Science Department, University of Peshawar while talking to APP.

He said leaders of all mainstream political parties were trying to get the sympathies of young voters during public addresses of public and any political party that won young voters’ support would easily form the Government for the next five-year term.

Under the constitution, he said that female voting was important and the past practice of barring women from voting was no more due to constitutional obligations.

AH Hilali said that the inclusion of such a large number of new voters was a positive sign for the democracy of Pakistan and on the other side added an extra responsibility on the political leaders to be very careful in their public speeches.

He said blame games, indecent language and character assassination should be avoided in public address and issues-based politics including the solution of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy would help attract young voters.

Dr Hilali said that the electioneering process would heat up in the next few weeks as the election date became nearer and urged the entire nation to get unite for the general election to carry the ship of democracy to the safe shore.

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