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Women in elections - strategy
 

Women in elections - strategy

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2.1.1. Politics is still a male domain that many women have found unwelcoming or even hostile. Societies in which traditional or patriarchal values remain strong may frown on women entering politics. ...

2.1.1. Politics is still a male domain that many women have found unwelcoming or even hostile. Societies in which traditional or patriarchal values remain strong may frown on women entering politics. On the other hand women are often more likely than men to face practical barriers to entering politics, including a paucity of financial resources, lower levels of education, less access to information, greater family responsibilities, and a deprivation of rights that has left them with fewer opportunities to acquire political experience. Women also generally lack the political networks necessary for electoral success and barriers to women’s political participation are often magnified in crises societies. These may be characterised by militarism, a volatile security situation, the political dominance of a small group of (typically male) elites, the absence of well-established political parties, the failure to include women in peace nego-tiations and the bodies created for peace implementation, and other limiting factors. When political parties are based more on prominent personalities associated with a faction in conflict than on issue-focused platforms and programmes, it is harder for women to emerge as political leaders

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    Women in elections - strategy Women in elections - strategy Presentation Transcript

    • Regional Strategy for attaining Higher Representation of Women in Decision Making Positions in IGAD Member States by 2015 Regional IGAD Conference on HRWDM November 27-30 2010 BT Costantinos, PhD
    • Contents
      • Part I: Synopsis of research findings
      • Part II: The Strategy
      • Introduction…1
      • Locus of the strategy … 2
      • Advocacy Strategies …3
      • Women’s Empowerment Strategies…11
      • Legislative Strategy…23
      • Part III: Mechanism and Plan of Action
    • Challenges to and international mechanisms for women’s empowerment
      • Challenges: Politics is still a male domain that many women have found unwelcoming or even hostile
      • Opportunities: IGAD nations have acceded to international and regional policy frameworks on gender equality and women’s empowerment, effectively binding them to adhering to obligations, duties, and responsibilities they entail. These include
        • Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA),
        • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),
        • UN Security Council Resolution 1325,
        • International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)
        • Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa
    • Addis Ababa Declaration: Recommendations for Women’s Representation
      • Governments should expeditiously strengthen the national machinery for enhancing HRWDM and support comprehensive voter and civic education;
      • Political parties: Adopt clear and transparent rules to ensure internal democracy, with specific attention to gender equality;
      • Electoral commissions should purposively (as opposed to reactively) give due consideration to issues of gender equality and empowerment of women within the whole electoral process;
      • Parliament: Ensure that the institutions and practices of parliament are gender-sensitive;
      • International actors should support gender-sensitive voter education programmes and ensure women’s full participation in their design and dissemination;
      • Civil society actors should develop gender-sensitive civic education messages that highlight the capacities of women as candidates and political leaders;
    • Locus of the strategy
      • Governments, CSOs, and political parties
        • promote capacity of women to enable them to be represented effectively in party politics , and
        • women parliamentary caucuses encourage and support women to participate in all activities of parties at all levels ;
      • Necessary trajectories to involve women parliamentary caucuses and CSOs to urge political parties and governments to ensure gender parity within their structures ;
    • Practical Mechanisms for the Strategy
      • IGAD should initiate a regional process, involving governments and other stakeholders, to create a regional GEWE strategy .
      • A national strategy should be nationally-owned and led , but conform to the core values of the regional strategy and should be aligned in a mutually-constructive manner.
      • Enhancing the capacity of the IGAD Secretariat Gender Unit.
      • IGAD synergises HRWDM strategy with its economic, peace and security, environmental and infrastructural programmes
    • Advocacy strategies
      • An advocacy strategy is a critical activity in enhancing HRWDM as it ensures resource mobilisation and the execution of programmes. While strategies vary according to local circumstances, the principles include:
        • Promotion of public awareness;
        • Respect, protection, and fulfilment of women’s rights;
        • Compassion and active opposition to all forms of exclusion;
        • Intensified efforts to enhance local capacity and resources of existing national and local entities, and the mobilisation of new and non-traditional methods;
      • The vision often returns to a single point: gender inequality is everybody’s concern. Hence, efforts are premised on a shared aim to mobilise all stakeholders in a scaled up, coordinated, effective and efficient strategy.
    • Results
      • The results are premised on the removal behavioural, financial information, and systemic barriers to HRWDM .
      • The results are:
        • Increased numbers of women in decision making positions;
        • Impact mitigation on customs that prohibit HRWDM;
        • sustainable, multi-sectoral and decentralised effort to enhance women’s capacity to achieving decision-making positions ;
        • Behaviour Change
        • Generating and using Technical Information
        • Ensuring Adequate Resources and Intuitional Capacity
        • Developed standards, guidelines and institutionalised best practices
        • Empowered women form networks and contribute to planning political campaigns at all levels
    • Principles, vision, goal and objectives
      • The advocacy vision provides a unifying idea for the planning and articulation of goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics.
        • A clear vision, based on principles, enhances the ability of advocates to work together and guides important decisions by advocates.
        • The vision statement articulates the most fundamental rationale for the activities and the types of change advocates would like to bring about.
      • The advocacy goal elaborates on the vision by adding important information on what and why .
        • Internally, it helps to keep advocates focused on their purposes;
        • Externally, it is for community groups, media, audiences and partners;
      • Good advocacy objectives
        • provide specific, measurable steps towards reaching the desired goals.
        • Good objectives are SMART: Specific and Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (to the vision and goal) and Time-referenced;
    • Purpose: public dialogue, expression of commitment, fundraising or promoting legislative amendments
      • Rationale
        • Advocacy Orientation
        • Leadership and group dynamics
        • Publicity methods
        • Various means of IEC conveying the message
        • Dealing with weaknesses and threats
        • Local resource (human and financial) mobilisation
      • Advocacy TARGETS depend on the political and social environment of the country
        • Political and opinion leaders
        • The media, CSOs, religious leaders, business and trade unions,
        • Academia, HRWDM researchers & Young women
        • Public Figures and Celebrities
    • Key Advocacy Messages and Tactics
      • IGAD Countries, with limited resources, have built the necessary political momentum for GEWE
      • Advocacy must convince policy makers. Facts are essential to effective advocacy :
        • Make them relevant , strong , positive;
        • Keep them simple, short, and accurate;
        • Make them politically and culturally sensitive ,
        • Write them down !!!
      • Categorising policy makers and opinion leaders based
        • On their history of involvement in HRWDM issues ;
        • On identifying the best ‘lever’ for obtaining the support ;
      • Delivering strong talk to build support ;
      • Exercising interpersonal influence
    • Women’s empowerment strategies
      • Leadership and education for critical consciousness
        • Knowledgeable and strong women’s leadership ;
        • Education for Democratic Citizenship ;
        • Cultural and social changes -- social accountability: Citizen Report Cards and Community Score Cards;
      • HRWDM Capacity development:
        • should not be solely equated with training, education, and technology transfer;
        • Attention should be shifted to the environment in which people apply their skills
          • an environment conducive to mobilising social groups and
          • motivating individuals as basis requirements for promoting capacity utilisation and retention ;
    • Capacity building
      • Capacity building as both a means and an end for HRWDM;
      • HRWDM capacity assessment:
        • what and how ???
        • Institutional Formation
        • Institutional Function
        • Institutional Condition - effectiveness
      • Resource mobilisation
        • The Need For Clarity Of Objectives,
        • Popular Participation
        • Broad Strategies For Financial
          • Self Reliance
      • belief in the cause,
      • putting the fund raising and information in one package,
      • be professional - know the subject, evaluate, accept and back new ideas,
      • use volunteers,
      • be flexible - fit fund raising to the donor [whatever the value of donation],
      • seize opportunities with enthusiasm,
      • do not be frightened - always tell the truth" [about your success and failure];
    • KM, CoP and Mainstreaming
      • Knowledge Management Systems
      • Communities of Practice
      • Mainstreaming HRWDM
        • Clearly defined and focused entry point
        • National Policies or Strategic Frameworks should be used as the frame of reference for HRWDM (Constitution)
        • Necessitates that advocacy, sensitization, and capacity building
        • The internal domain or workplace, where staff are addressed; and the external domain where potential partners are addressed;
        • Developing strategic partnerships;
    • Strategic approaches to mainstreaming HRWDM Mainstreaming HRWDM operational Plans Sustained Implementation of HRWDM Activities Managing strategic HRWDM Information HRWDM local level decentralised management HRWDM Institutional Arrangements Rights-based enquiry and situation analysis in the HRWDM HRWDM Strategic analysis – and Strategic Plans National Strategic Framework – Gender, Human Security, Human Development, VAW, HIV/AIDS, Governance… HRWDM Evaluation Strong systematic campaigns must be launched with a communication strategy developed: public relations to enlighten society, social marketing in selling ideas and ‘cultures’ and enabling negotiations , and advocacy .
    • Legislative Strategy
      • GEWE friendly acts of parliaments
        • Seek gender balance in their membership at all levels and create incentives for women to be election administrators;
        • Develop a policy on gender aimed at enhancing women’s representation in the election process, train staff to be sensitive to gender issues;
        • Ensure the secrecy and independence of the vote;
        • Collect sex-disaggregated statistics on the election process in order to evaluate women’s representation and identify aspects of the process that can be improved;
      • Electoral transformation and registration: electoral quality, quantity, and meaning
      • Election administration, observation, and monitoring
      • Developing effective voter education systems,
      • Instituting simple procedures for registration,
      • Ensuring easy access to polling stations, convenient polling hours,
      • Provide security at polling stations and prevent intimidation,
      • Designing ballots and voting procedures that are clear and simple, making certain each person’s vote is cast secretly,
      • Providing balloting facilities for the illiterate,
      • To the extent possible, election management bodies should collect sex-disaggregated data on all aspects of the electoral process, including voter registration and turnout, in order to identify any discrepancies .
    • Political Parties’ Strategy and quotas as a means achieving the desired 50/50 share
      • Quotas:
        • Reserved seats (constitutional and/or legislative)
        • Legal candidate quotas (constitutional and/or legislative) and
        • Political party quotas (voluntary).
      • While quotas are considered a controversial measure, various arguments have been set forth for quotas as a means to increase the political presence of women
      • Quotas for women do not discriminate, but compensate for actual barriers that prevent women from their fair share of the political seats.
      • Quotas imply that there are several women together in a committee or assembly, thus minimizing the stress often experienced by the token women.
      • Women have the right as citizens to equal representation.
      • Women's experiences are needed in political life.
      • Election is about representation, not educational qualifications.
      • Women are just as qualified as men are, but women's qualifications are downgraded and minimized in a male-dominated political system.
      • It is in fact the political parties that control the nominations, not primarily the voters who decide who gets elected; therefore quotas are not violations of voters' rights.
      • Introducing quotas may cause conflicts, but may be only temporarily.
      • Quotas can contribute to a process of democratisation by making the nomination process more transparent and formalised
    •  
    •  
    • Workshop guide
      • Introducing the strategy
      • Plenary sessions
        • Presentations
        • Discussions
        • Common stand on consensus reached
      • Breakout sessions
        • Discuss the background document for clarity
        • Discuss the strategy document for your input
        • Discuss and complete Part III of the strategy
    • Thank You BT Costantinos, PhD School of Graduate Studies, Department of Management and Public Policy, College of Management, Information and Economic Sciences, Addis Ababa University [email_address] www.costantinos.net https://sites.google.com/site/doncosty/home