Women voters much less than men in Bangladesh
Published : 03 Jan 2017, 23:38
There are more women than men in Bangladesh, but male voters outnumber female ones by more than 2.11 million.
Some would say social orthodoxy in remote areas and negligence on the part of election officials would account for less women enrolment in the electoral rolls.
"The Election Commission officials don't campaign aggressively enough to enrol women voters. And some conservative women continue to believe they should stay away from voting," said Abdul Alim, director of the Election Working Group (EWG), a non-partisan, 32-member network of civil society organisations.
The blueprint of the updated voters' list was published Monday.
A little over than 1.49 million new voters have made it to this year's list.
Election Commission's Public Relations Director SM Asaduzzaman said that with the addition of the updated list, the total number of voters at the beginning of the year will cross the 100 million mark.
During the ninth general elections in 2009, the total voter strength stood at 80 million.
On an average 2.7 million voters is added every year.
So, there are 52.19 million male voters and 50.08 million female voters after the latest update, Asaduzzaman said.
That means there are 2.11 million more male voters than their female counterparts.
However, according to the last census report of 2011, there are 40.52 million men against 40.62 million women in the age group of 15 and above.
Election Commission Secretary Md Abdullah said that while men account for 60 percent, women represent 40 percent of the updated voter list.
He said despite aggressive awareness campaigns, the gap between men women in the voter list could not be brought down.
He added that the gap mainly sprang from remote areas.
He said this time door-to-door registration was not conducted and eligible citizens had to walk up to the Upazila office for registration, a factor that could have discouraged women from enlisting, he believes.
He also said that if necessary special drives could be arranged to extend the right to franchise to more women.
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