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By David Murchison, Sr. Vice President, International and Iraq
Pakistan, with help from Canada and other development partners, has made impressive gains in increasing electoral registrants and having broad-based and fair elections.
On October 23, 2019, the IOG was pleased to host Mr. Babar Yaqoob, Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Mr. Yaqoob was interested in learning more from the IOG on Canada’s experience in this area and on how Pakistan might be more inclusive in the electoral process with the vulnerable segments of their society, including women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, transgender and youth.
“Not a lot of Pakistani women had registered to vote, but because most Pakistani citizens now have government-issued ID cards, the government had data on where they were located,” said David Murchison, IOG’s Vice President, International. “So the government mounted a campaign with mobile units to walk from door-to-door to register them, often in very remote communities, thus achieving impressive gains in the number of women registered voters.”
In a wide-ranging discussion, the IOG further explored the barriers facing women in the democratic process in Pakistan, both as voters and as candidates, and how underrepresented groups, be they social, racial or geographic, might be given a larger voice.
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