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ECOWAS Gender & Election Strategic Framework


Date : 20/06/2016 - 24/06/2016
Venue : Lomé (Togo),
City : Lomé
Country : Togo
Contact :

Introduction

Democratic elections have become a central element of peace-building and conflict prevention in the West African Sub region. This emphasis on elections acknowledges that popularly supported, legitimate institutions can be key to lasting solutions to democratic/electoral problem and good governance issues.

On a global level, women are historically and culturally being disadvantaged and therefore need to be part of the whole process, not just as voters, because they constitute more than half of the registered voters. Suffice to say that, it is only when institutions are democratic and representative of all groups in society, women as well as men, minorities as well as majorities, the dispossessed as well as the affluent are stable, and then peace and national prosperity are likely to be achieved.

The ECOWAS region is situated in West Africa on the continent of Africa, and the region consist of fifteen member countries, and they are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

As part of its mandate, the ECOWAS Commission has worked extensively on electoral matters but for the first time has extended its efforts to enhancing women’s participation in electoral processes in West Africa, which is in line with existing instruments that the Commission and its Member states have adopted in enhancing the situation of women in the region. Thus, far Gender and Election BRIDGE trainings have been organised for the Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire and Guinea – the five countries in West Africa holding elections in 2015

Thus, the Researcher who has being the lead facilitator for the BRDIGE training in five countries namely, Nigeria, Togo, Guinea, Burkina Faso and la Cote d’Ivoire, will be engaged in democratic elections in 2015 will use the information generated during the training as a baseline line information to formulate the gender and Election Strategic Framework. Thus, the five countries involved in 2015 elections have maintained a steady democratic process over a considerable number of years within the region and therefore they are the sample for the study.

OBJECTIVES

• To mainstream gender issues in the overall ECOWAS Strategic Plan on democracy and good governance for women’s participation in democratic elections in West Africa.

• To develop an ECOWAS Election Gender Strategic Framework to the actualisation of effective participation of women in democratic elections in the ECOWAS Sub-region.

• To ensure and increase the level of inclusive representation of women in election administration and representation at all levels e.g. women as political candidates of political parties, political appointees, security personnel, voter registration officials, etc.

SCOPE OF WORK

• Collect and evaluate data and information related with the participation of women in democratic elections and other related gender issues bordering on politics, democracy and good governance.

• Formulate Draft ECOWAS Gender & Election Strategic Framework.

• Establish and maintain evaluation tool, in order to be able to perform regional gender planning analysis of women’s participation in democratic elections in support of the Directorate on Gender.

• Ensure continuous collaboration between its member-representatives from the different member organizations and institutions.

DATE AND VENUE

The meeting will be held in Lomé in Togo from 21 to 23 June 2016.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

An ECOWAS Gender and Election Strategic Framework – to serve as a road map
for gender inclusion in politics and democratic elections.

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