Photo for illustrative purpose. Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik announced the authority had decided to leave to the applicant’s discretion whether she wanted to mention her father’s name or her husband’s on the CNIC. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Islamabad: The National Database And Registration Authority (NADRA) of Pakistan has done away with its policy that earlier bound a woman to mention her husband’s name on the Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) which is also their citizenship card.

Now they are free to retain their family name even after marriage as well as mention their father’s name instead of their husband on the citizenship card. Although it was not the official policy, yet the NADRA staff registering a married woman asked her to mention her husband’s name on the form required for issuance of the citizenship card.

Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik, while speaking at a rural women’s conference, announced that policy no longer existed and the authority had decided to leave to the applicant’s discretion whether she wanted to mention her father’s name or her husband’s on the CNIC.

Existing gender gap in registration reduced Malik said steps were taken to increase women’s registration to empower and protect their rights. He added the authority had reduced the existing registration gap between women and men from 14 percent to 10 percent in 100 days. “We have also established an inclusive registration unit to increase women registration,” said Tariq Malik.

We are reviewing all policies to enhance women registration, whether it is linked with awareness or outreach, he said. “Within a few months, approximately 40 million households have validated their family members through dedicated service 8009,” he further said. The CNIC was not just a plastic card.

It not only protected the rights of women but also empowered them to benefit from the government policies, he said. Quota for women, transgenders in vendor support programme. In another step to empower women and the most marginalized section of society, transgenders, the Pakistan government has decided to include them in the project ‘Ehsaas Rehri Baan’ or ‘Ehsaas Cart-Pusher’ programme.

As the title of the programme reflects it aims at supporting the women and transgender vendors to a conducive environment for them and to ensure a respectable livelihood environment for them. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation & Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar has termed the project the most challenging initiative in terms of deployment.

Initially, the programme was being implemented in three sectors of Islamabad, namely, G-8, G-10 and G-11 sectors as the government wanted to pilot it. However, seeing its possible scope and potential for women and transgender community, it was decided to expand it across the country. Now they will be provided with licences and modern carts after conducting surveys. The ultimate goal of this programme was to protect them from exploitation at any level, said Dr Sania Nishtar.