Exploring gender and electoral administration in Moldova and Romania
9 November 2012
From 15 to 19 October 2012, the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Moldova and the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania participated in a joint workshop to explore the topic of gender and elections using the GPECS customised BRIDGE module.
The workshop was held in Bucharest in the Romanian language and sought to bring together members of the organisations and their staff to build links across the two EMBs while learning more about applying gender concepts to their work. The 25 participants also included staff from NGOs, UNDP Moldova and UNDP Romania.
The workshop was a collaboration between:
- the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Moldova;
- the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania;
- the Gender Component of the Global Programme on Electoral Cycle Support (GPECS);- UNDP Moldova’s Programme for Improving the Quality of Moldovan Democracy, which is supported by Sweden; and
- UNDP Romania’s programme for the support of the electoral cycle, which is supported by GPECS and UN-EAD.
The workshop was facilitated by Corneliu Pasat (lead facilitator from the CEC), Bogdan Popescu (PEA), and Veaceslav Balan (UNWomen Moldova). Kate Sullivan, UNDP Elections CTA, acted as expert.
Our participants had a strong electoral background – the majority were from the two EMBs, and those from civil society organisation had good electoral experience. This allowed us to focus on the gender aspects of participants’ work rather than building electoral knowledge. A key issue for us was to be able to present the workshop in the Romanian language, allowing participants to be as comfortable as possible while discussing what have proved to be difficult issues for our region. All participants felt able to share their views and contribute in full BRIDGE spirit.
The workshop was a success, and met its two key objectives – improving knowledge of gender equality concepts and issues, and building peer relationships between the two EMBs. We have had very positive feedback from the majority of those present, reflecting the interest of EMB staff to consider these holistic issues alongside the nitty-gritty of electoral operations. The participants highly rated both the BRIDGE methodology and the presented topic:
“Before the seminar I couldn’t imagine that there is so much to discuss about gender in elections and that this discussions will be so much interesting.”
“This seminar helped me a lot to achieve a better understanding of the gender issue and to identify possible solutions for the existing problems.”
In Moldova, the CEC and the UNDP Democracy Programme have planned a series of follow up activities, including the conduct of a gender audit. They will also look to offer a shortened form of the workshop for political party representatives in early 2013. It is also hoped that colleagues from Romania will plan for some follow up activities after their December 2012 parliamentary elections.