Speakers at a dialogue titled “Missing Young Voters of Pakistan” held on Friday called for improving youth participation in electoral process for strengthening the democracy in the country.
The dialogue was organized by PILDAT in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Pakistan. The speakers observed that youth’s electoral participation is abysmally low as compared to international democracies and unless ways to increase their turnout are devised and implemented, democracy is at the threat of being unrepresentative.
Addressing the ceremony Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima, Director Media Coordination, Election Commission of Pakistan, briefed about ECP’s continuous efforts to engage and educate Pakistan’s youth of the significance of their vote. She said that ECP’s SVEEP program which focuses on new voter education and registration and conducted 443 sessions in schools, colleges and universities so far She said that ECP is collaborating with the young You Tubers and Vloggers to further educate the youth about the importance of vote.
In 2018, ECP’s Protocol Wing launched their internship programme in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, offering students an opportunity to directly learn about the election process. Ms. Qurat ul Ain suggested having reserved seats for youth in the Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies and to introduce elections and democracy as a compulsory part of the education syllabus to increase youth participation in electoral processes.