Equal Access: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in electoral processes
21-23 February 2022
IFES Uzbekistan with the financial support of USAID and DRL, US State Department, and in cooperation with the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Republic of Uzbekistan held the workshop on Equal Access: inclusion of people with disabilities in electoral processes for various stakeholders (including CEC, DPOs, NGOs, Media, Academia) during 21-23 February, 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The workshop aimed to raise the awareness on inequalities in electoral processes and international good practices in providing equal access to people with disabilities. The workshop was conducted by BRIDGE facilitators: Natia Kashakashvili and Evgeniy Krikopolo in Russian language. Twenty-six representatives of various stakeholders attended the workshop (18 men, 8 women): CEC – 11, DPOs – 8, NGOs – 2, Media – 4, Academia – 1.
During the workshop participants have gained knowledge about international standards and best practices for ensuring equal access in electoral processes, international treaties and provisions guaranteeing the civil and political rights of people with disabilities, including various legal instruments and the provisions mainstreaming equality throughout the electoral cycle; also, they have analyzed various obstacles that are faced by people with disabilities as voters, candidates and as election officials and entertained possibilities to overcome these obstacles. Participants also had a chance to learn about the experiences of various countries (and actions of EMBs) on promoting the equal access for people with disabilities. At the end of the workshop, participants have analyzed the importance of post-electoral planning and designed strategies for action.
Participants have fully engaged and enjoyed the activities. Participants evaluated the workshop verbally and through written forms. Participants have noted as the most useful/valuable aspects of the course: international examples and case studies; simulations; international standards and legal guarantees of protecting the rights of the PwDs; Electoral cycle approach to identify barriers to participation in electoral processes; Role of stakeholders in ensuring accessibility for PWDs; Post-election period strategic planning; innovations in the activities of EMBs, International examples of DPOs’ activity.
Participants have also appreciated the methodology of the workshop that allowed combining theory and practice; interaction, energizers and creative approach. Participants have praised the professionalism of the facilitators and the well-prepared materials. Many of them requested further trainings on other topics with the same methodology.
As a result of the workshop, different stakeholders have stated readiness to improve their work based on the knowledge received, such as introducing innovations and assessing the legislation; covering pre-election processes from the perspective of ensuring rights of PWDs and engaging more reporters; using the strategic planning approach.
At the end of the workshop, participants were granted certificates of completing the modular workshop.