BRIDGE Gender and Election

15 February 2019

The Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) conducted a Gender Equality and Election BRIDGE Workshop on 7 and 8 February 2019 with the support of the UNDP Electoral Support Project (ESP), which is funded by the European Union. The two-day programme for election was held in Bhaktapur district, where a by-election is to take place because of the death the elected Provincial Assembly member for constituency 1-1.

The program was inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhee Prasad Yadav and attended by 26 participants (15 male, 11 female). The participants included elected local representatives, district heads of political parties, former Constituent Assembly candidates, media persons, party cadres, electoral management staff as well as representatives from the NGO federation and from UN Women.

During the opening remarks, the Chief Election Commissioner requested the participants to create a conducive environment for the upcoming by-election in Bhaktapur. He urged the political parties to increase women’s meaningful participation within their party and requested women to come forwards for inclusive participation in democracy. In the opening, ECN Secretary Madhu Regmi spoke about the importance of the BRIDGE programme for the Commission and encouraged women participants to increase the qualitative as well as for quantitative representation in decision-making processes. ECN Joint Secretary Ms Girija Sharma welcomed the participants and highlighted the objectives of the program.

The main objective of the workshop was to raise awareness among election stakeholders, including political parties, media, and potential women leaders about the upcoming by-elections, and in particular to encourage political parties to increase meaningful participation of women in politics and decision-making processes.

The two-day workshop was customized on the basis of BRIDGE Version 3 and conducted using adult learning methodologies. Brainstorming, role play, group work, presentations, debate and quiz contests were used during various sessions, in which all the participants actively participated. The major topics covered were: introduction to BRIDGE, national and international legal framework on gender inclusion in elections, the ECN gender equality and social inclusion policy, women participation in all three tiers of elections held in 2017, diversity of women, the electoral cycle, electoral systems, the role of political parties in increasing women’s participation in politics, quota systems, and gender balance at polling places, among others. Icebreakers and energizers were conducted in between the sessions.

The participants highly appreciated the content and methodology of the workshop and requested that this workshop should be conducted for top party leaders as well as ground level cadres to bring positive change in society. They also thanked ESP, UNDP and the European Union for providing this opportunity and bringing them close to the ECN. 

The team of facilitators included:

  1. Nikila Shrestha – Accrediting Facilitator and Lead Facilitator
  2. Madhu Prasad Regmi – Workshop Level Facilitator
  3. Deshbandu Adhikari – TtF Completed Facilitator
  4. Rashmi Poudhyal- TtF Completed Facilitator
  5. Girija Sharma – Expert, Joint Secretary, ECN

The program was concluded with the distribution of “Participation Certificates”  by ECN Secretary Madhu Regmi to all the participants. Deshbandu Adhikari was also awarded “Workshop level Facilitator” accreditation.

Following this workshop, ECN now has two additional BRIDGE Workshop level Facilitators (Deshbandu Adhikari and Shree Kumar Rai), which brings the total number of BRIDGE facilitators among ECN staff to four Workshop level Facilitators and one Accrediting Facilitator.





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