Gender Concerns attends Warsaw election observation meeting

Representatives from Gender Concerns International participated in the 8th annual Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation last week in Warsaw. The three-day meeting was organised by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The meeting kicked off with a high-level panel on the role of international election observations in policy-making. Working sessions followed on the mitigation of electoral violence and the follow up of election observation observations. Director Sabra Bano accepted an invitation to present Gender Concerns’ accomplishments with “Success of an Innovation: Gender Election Monitoring” in a working session on monitoring gender issues in elections. Focus areas of this session were:

  • Trends in women’s participation in elections, including emerging issues such as campaign finance, media, and new voting technologies.
  • Review of international obligations and standards regarding women’s participation and how it can be       effectively linked to recommendations
  • Mainstreaming gender into election observation activities (thematically and structurally).

Other working sessions discussed the follow-up to and drafting of election observations. Case studies dealt with fostering political will for change and methods of coordination. The meeting also included topics on interacting with academia and coordinating with citizen observers.

Director Sabra Bano was also a key speaker at a Women’s Power Breakfast at the meeting. Gender Concerns was glad to bring its expertise to presentations at the meeting, and to benefit from the shared experience of others in the international community.

Gender Concerns’s unique Gender Election Monitoring (GEM) missions have observed, documented and provided recommendations for the fair and equal inclusion of women in electoral processes and policy-making in Pakistan (2008 and May 2013), Libya (2012), Morocco (2011) and Tunisia (2011).  Our GEM reports focus on pre-election, election, post-election activities from a gender perspective, working toward the broader inclusion of women in democratic processes and policy-making.