The Preliminary Statement for the Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM) Morocco 2016 of the Parliamentary Elections that took place in Morocco on the 7th of October 2016, was presented by Head of Mission Ms. Sabra Bano and Deputy Head of Mission Ms. Magdalena De Meyer at a Press Conference in the Headquarters of the National Human Rights Council of Morocco.
Ms. Bano congratulated the women and men of Morocco, the National Human Rights Council, and the Ministry of Interior on the success of conducting the second Parliamentary Elections following the democratic reforms in 2011:
“The fact that women and men participated along side each other, as voters, candidates and administrators, demonstrates that there is a will for democratic participation and advancement among the people in Morocco. Good practices of political parties nominating young female members as candidates are encouraging”.
The Preliminary Statement includes the Mission’s observations from the Election Day, as well as recommendations for gender-inclusive electoral reform. The Mission strongly recommends an evaluation of current voter education programmes and policies that will help increase electoral participation of women, and especially of young women, for future elections.
The Mission further recommends that: a Gender-Unit is established within the National Election Management Body; information and instructions on how to vote should be visible at polling centres; polling centres should be more accessible to voters with disabilities; a larger percentage of staff members at polling stations should be women; a larger percentage of political party agents at polling stations should be women; and the number of women in security forces should be increased.
The GEOM is an international election observation mission with a unique methodology that ensures that elections are observed exclusively from a gender perspective.The overall aim of the GEOM Morocco 2016 was to observe and document women’s electoral participation with an ultimate aim of supporting gender-focused electoral reform.
As part of this Mission, Gender Concerns International presented its GEOM Preliminary Statement for the municipal and regional elections on the 4th of September at a press conference in Rabat. A successful democratic development in Morocco and more gender equality during the elections was observed, and concrete suggestions for the further democratic and electoral process were formulated according to aspects of gender equality.
Ms Sabra Bano, Head of Mission and Director of Gender Concerns International, stated: “A future with increased numbers of women as political party leaders, heads of polling stations, candidate representatives and electoral staff can benefit all citizens in an equal development process.”
As part of the new constitutional process, a parliamentary election took place in Morocco in November 2011. For this election, Gender Concerns International was invited to conduct Gender Election Monitoring (GEM) Mission. The mission had as its aim to strengthen the representation of women in the elections.
The Gender Concerns International team comprised of three experienced international observers and included local observers in its extended team. The local observers of the various partner organisations covered a wide part of the country, whilst the international observers together with members of the Civil Youth Alliance for Reform concentrated on monitoring the areas of Casablanca, Rabat, Sale and Bouznika.
For the first GEM in Morocco, Gender Concerns International cooperated with National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Federation of the Democratic League for Women's Rights (FLDDF), People’s Rights Center/Morocco (CDG), Women’s Creativity and Civil Youth Alliance for Reform (CCJR).