Gbv and electoral processes peace bearers

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This presentation discusses how GBV and electoral violence has affected women and girls in Kenya. Focusing on the electoral circle.

This presentation discusses how GBV and electoral violence has affected women and girls in Kenya. Focusing on the electoral circle.

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  • 1. GBV IN ELECTORAL PROCESSES JACK ABEBE 12TH JAN 2013 PRESENTED TO IMPROVE LIFE INTERNATIONAL
  • 2. OVERVIEW • • • • • Defining Electoral Violence Defining GBV Reasons for Electoral GBV Types of GBV in Electoral process Understanding GBV in relation to the Electoral cycle
  • 3. ELECTORAL VIOLENCE Defining electoral violence: “… Acts or threats of coercion, intimidation or physical harm perpetrated to affect an electoral process or that arises in the context of electoral competition. When perpetrated to affect an electoral process, violence may be employed to influence the process of elections – such as efforts to delay, disrupt, or derail a poll – and to influence the outcomes: the determining of winners in competitive races for political office or to secure approval or disapproval of referendum questions.”
  • 4. GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (GBV) • Violence is the use of force or coercion to injure another person or property. • Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is any act of violence or threat to a person, which includes intimidation, oppression or other forms of denial of liberty directed at a particular individual or group of people because of his or her gender. • Women and children are the main victims of GBV .
  • 5. What are the reasons behind GBV during electoral Processes? What are the types of GBV during electoral processes?
  • 6. reform audits & evaluations constitution electoral bodies development tabulation of results Postelection complaints & appeals Verification of Results official results pre-voting & outof-country voting Voting Operations & Election Day vote-counting voting Legal Framework The Electoral Cycle Electoral Campaign media party liaison complaints legislation electoral system financing security budgeting resource planning & implementation Electoral Planning & Implementation funding & financing calendar/ timeline election officials Training & Education civic & voter education Voter Registration voters parties & candidates observers
  • 7. REASONS FOR ELECTORAL GBV • To intimidate and scare them from voting and even vying for political positions • Force women to vote for a particular person • Punishing a group/community for voting in a certain way • For revenge. • Cultural, social and political intolerance
  • 8. TYPES OF GBV • • • • • Physical Sexual Emotional & psychological Economic Harmful Cultural practices(FGM, Early and forced marriage, widow cleansing, wife inheritance etc)
  • 9. GBV AND ELECTORAL VIOLENCE Aggression most commonly takes the form of verbal harassment during campaign meetings. It is aimed at embarrassing women by questioning their competency or insulting them with accusations of being prostitutes.
  • 10. intimidation is more severe and sometimes involves threats of violence. Women candidates are warned that their husbands or supporters will be beaten or even killed if they do not withdraw from the race. One woman during the 2008 local election was threatened with rape unless she abandoned her campaign. Case study
  • 11. In rural areas where traditional practices are strong, especially in the North, men belonging to the secret “poro” society threaten to bring out the “poro devil” mask – which women are forbidden from seeing – to scare off female candidates and their supporters. More extreme forms of traditional intimidation involve threats that women will be taken to the bush, beaten and left there. Some women have also reported physical violence being used to intimidate, most commonly stones being thrown, but in one instance a female candidate was locked in her house on the day of the election.
  • 12. • Women and girls have been victims of Gender Based Violence throughout electoral processes taking into consideration the fact that the rate of rape always increase in conflict time • Women remain with permanent scars, some have died, and others have been injured, whilst most of them remain traumatized by past and continued incidents of violation of their fundamental right of enjoying peace, against violence.
  • 13. • Gender-based violence against women and girls has been a feature of virtually all recent violent conflicts, including the PEV in 2007/08 • Women and girls face a greatly increased risk of physical and sexual violence; rape and other types of gender based violence seem to be a "rule of war".
  • 14. • GBV is increasingly becoming a challenge for women that want to participate in the electoral process and presents a major obstacle in advancing women’s position in society.  Women who want their voices to be heard when critical political decisions are being made risk losing their lives or being violently attacked by those people opposed to their participation
  • 15. • Some women and children are tortured, killed and abducted. Their homes and property destroyed. Their cattle, grain and property looted. • Some of these women are forced to leave their homes. Their husbands and sons killed before their eyes. This means that women’s livelihoods are disturbed and lives disrupted.
  • 16. • Despite the numerous legal provisions that support women’s participation in politics and decision-making positions and processes, women still face enormous barriers in doing so. • Some of the challenges are entrenched in society’s conception of the roles women should play and others are seen in more formal structures within the political arena
  • 17. • GBV discourages women from running for positions since they fear for their personal security and losing their families. • It prevents women from voting or openly supporting the candidates of their choice • Acts and threats of GBV have contributed to keeping women out of politics and men have continued to be dominant.
  • 18. • Women just like the men, have the right to vote and to have their opinion reflected in politics. The electoral process therefore offers women several opportunities to take part, for example by being:  Political party supporters and activists  Voters  Members of political parties  Candidates  Electoral officials
  • 19. • Gender based violence is a big issue during electoral processes because women are afraid to go and report their cases to the police who often said that such violence did not fall under their jurisdiction but it’s political issues which should be resolved at political levels. • Police on the other hand are said to be abusing women during the crisis. Hence whilst women are protected by law, this becomes ineffective when the protection cannot be implemented
  • 20. Gender based violence during the elections have silenced women. They do not want to talk about it; they do not want their cases recorded because they feel insecure about their future Survivors of sexual violence during the conflict period prefer not to talk about their experiences because they are afraid of being disowned by their husbands and communities.
  • 21. • Women contracted HIV/AIDS from rape cases during election violence. • Accessing PEP and anti-retrovirals has never been easy for women during these times and it is also very risky to move out of the home in search of these services due to insecurity. • No evidence collected and no witnesses for the cases.
  • 22. • The risk of politically instigated gender based violence is increased with the reduced risk of perpetrators being identified and reported. • There is poor enforcement of law during election times. • The already available legal frameworks should be implemented during these times is the SOA, the penal code, the elections Act etc.
  • 23. CONCLUSION • There is therefore the need to restore confidence that the security forces can protect civilians and their dignity during an electoral process • Citizens should remain vigilant in preventing and responding to GBV in their respective communities in times of peace and conflict.
  • 24. Thank you