The gender gap has reduced with the addition of 11.74 million women voters, compared to 9.28 million men, to the electoral rolls since the 2018 general elections, bringing the total number of registered voters in the country to around 127 million. The latest statistics released by the Election Commission of Pakistan showed that the difference between men and women of voting age stands at around 10 million in a country where women make up 49 per cent of the population. The election is slated for January next year.
Sri Lanka: New rules for foreign ships
Sri Lanka will unveil the standard operating procedure shortly, setting out guidelines to be followed by foreign ships or aircraft in making a port of call in Sri Lanka and carrying out activities in territorial waters. It stipulates the kinds of vessels and aircraft allowed in Sri Lankan territory, the number of days to stay in the country and the type of activities that are allowed. It has been worked out after some powers, particularly India, raised concerns about the visit of Chinese research and military vessels in Sri Lankan waters.
Bangladesh: Bay of Bengal drowning in plastic
It is extremely distressing that despite repeated warnings about the grave dangers of plastic pollution in the Bay of Bengal, unsustainable waste management continues to wreak havoc in our nation’s most treasured natural resource. According to a recent study, around 15 tonnes of non-biodegradable waste are dumped by fishermen alone. Experts have warned that the large-scale plastic pollution and proliferation of harmful bacteria are likely to make the Bay of Bengal unusable in the next 30-50 years. Incidentally, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban polythene bags in 2002.
The Daily Star
Nepal: Studies of 7 million affected
While teachers from across the country are in Kathmandu protesting against the School Education Bill, 2023, around seven million students’ fundamental right enshrined in Article 31 of the Constitution has been encroached. The protest has disturbed the studies of seven million students in 34,000 schools, including 6,000 private schools. The National Human Rights Commission has stated that schools have been closed indefinitely. It has asked the agitating party to resolve the problem through dialogue.
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