Gender and Elections BRIDGE workshop organized in North Macedonia
25-27 August 2021
Macedonia (the former Yugoslav Republic of)
Between August 25 and 27, 2021, a three-day BRIDGE workshop on Gender and Elections was organized in Ohrid, North Macedonia. The participants got acquainted with the BRIDGE methodology and had the chance to explore the barriers and obstacles to participation of women as voters and candidates, but also the strategies and quota options that can be applied to mitigate the negative impact of some electoral systems on equal representation of men and women in elected bodies.
The training was facilitated by a team of both national and international Accrediting BRIDGE Facilitators: Dr. Doina Bordeianu and Ljupka Guguchevska. Florence Ganoux and Antigona Alili acted as guest speakers/resource persons during the workshop. The event was attended by the representatives of all relevant stakeholders – Parliamentary Committee for Equal Opportunities, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Information Society and Administration, Ombudsman, National Council for Gender Equality, Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, political parties and civil society organizations. In total, 23 participants (5 Male and 18 Female) took part in the training. The working language was English. However Macedonian and Albanian translation was provided.
The workshop was a real success in terms of experience sharing between the participants and interest shown for the discussed topics. It helped to establish a better collaboration between representatives of different institutions. Facilitators managed to meet participants’ expectations to combine international experience with local theory and practice.
Some of the participants’ feedback:
- Excellent organization, great atmosphere of both formal and informal segments.
- Great combination of lectures/training, dynamic and interesting debate, networking, opportunity to socialize – very easy and well-organized workshop.
- The methodology adopted in this workshop allows for better content retention. I also appreciate the sharing of various online tools.
- Workshops of this type help change general opinions and perceptions surrounding the role of women in political life.
- Everything was excellent: the communication with the organizer, accommodation and the sessions with the trainers.
One of the concrete results of the BRIDGE workshop was a series of proposals meant to improve the newly elaborated draft of the Gender Action Plan of the State Election Commission for the next 3 years.
The workshop was conducted in the framework of “Support to Electoral Reforms in North Macedonia”, a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and its partner National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM).