Gender Concerns International has been supporting women’s full integration into electoral processes, policy-making positions and in other vital processes to determine their country’s future. The unique Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM) programme, created by Gender Concerns International, addresses women’s democratic participation before, during and after elections as voters, candidates and electoral officials. GEOMs have been conducted in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Pakistan, Morocco and Libya. The specificity of the mission lies in the fact that this is an exclusive female observation team guaranteeing that the elections will be monitored from a gender perspective.
The exclusive female observation team looks at a variety of different areas including: How many head of polling stations are female? Are there facilities for pregnant women? What is the number of female candidates and females voting in the election? These are some examples of the critical areas that a large team of international and domestic female observers have been looking to observe through the GEOM programme. The results of the observation missions provide opportunities to think of ways to improve and enhance future democratic processes. Elections should give women the chance to participate in the political structures that will shape future economic and social reform. Based on its extensive experience, Gender Concerns International recognizes the vital importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective into the electoral process. This is not only beneficial for civil society organisations, but also a vital component of capacity building in state institutions.