On the occasion of its 10-year anniversary, Gender Concerns International wishes to raise a glass for our unique Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM). The organization pioneered this initiative, which has put women and their electoral participation in the spotlight. All-women observation teams, throughout the past 10 years of GEOM, have been able to identify barriers to women’s electoral participation, as well as produce solid recommendations for improvement.
The first GEOM was conducted in Pakistan in 2008. Since then, such observation missions have been conducted in Libya, Morocco, The Netherlands and Tunisia. It is remains hugely relevant to conduct GEOMs, as women’s rights continue to be threatened across the world. Gender issues are too often ignorantly set aside, despite being intertwined in most, if not all, social and political matters.
We celebrate with pride our GEOM initiative, but wish to also take the opportunity to send a message, reminding politicians and decision-makers that there cannot be real development if one gender is left behind. As stated in the Final Report of the second GEOM in Pakistan in 2013: a country that listens to the voice of its women, listens to its future!