Bilawal directs lawmakers, office-bearers to register women voters

  • PPP chairman says women have always lead from the front in party

LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has directed the party lawmakers and office-bearers at every level to work hard for registration of women voters for the general elections.

According to the directives issued by the PPP chairman, the lawmakers, office-bearers and workers of the party have been directed to ensure the registration of women voters, adding that party office-bearers may form committees at district and tehsil levels to help women register themselves on the electoral rolls.

Bilawal expressed concern over the rising gap between male and female voters from 10.97 million in 2013 to 12.17 million in September last year when male registered voters were 54.60 million and female were 42.42 million.

The PPP chairman also said that documenting the unregistered women voters was necessary to involve them in the process for further empowerment and ensuring their rights.

Meanwhile, in his message on UN’s International Women’s Day, the PPP chairman said that the commitment and conviction of the party for gender equality and women empowerment had been fully reflective in the steps taken so far. From first woman prime minister in the Muslim world to speaker, deputy speaker and foreign minister, the women have always been leading from the front in the PPP, he added.

Bilawal further pointed out that PPP started a grand poverty-alleviation project, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), which was acclaimed and appreciated by the World Bank and other international organisations. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto herself established the First Women Bank and women police stations, and started lady health workers programme, he added.

The PPP government allotted lands to landless women peasants and initiated union council-based poverty alleviation programme, which has benefitted 600,000 women and their families so far in Sindh, he stated.

Describing his party’s performance in pro-women legislation as unmatched, he said that the PPP government passed laws and acts for the establishment of National Commission on the Status of Women, Anti-Women Practices Act, Anti-Acid Crimes Law and Protection of Women at Workplace Law at the federal level.

Sindh Assembly led by PPP also adopted Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013, Domestic Violence (Protection & Prevention) Act 2015 and Commission on the Status of Women, 2015, Bilawal stated.

The party chief said that besides protection and promotion of women in political and social fields, the PPP plans to take more steps for economic empowerment of the women including registration of women farmers for their easy access to credit and inputs. Projects for credit facilities to ladies through microfinance and small and medium enterprises loans shall also be launched when the party comes into power again, he added.

He pledged that he would continue the struggle of his mother Benazir Bhutto to achieve her dreams of equality for women in every sphere of life.