Gender Equality and Elections
21-23 February 2023
On 21-23 February 2023, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) with the support of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) of the U.S. Department of State and in cooperation with the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Uzbekistan held a “Gender Equality and Elections” BRIDGE workshop.
The workshop was conducted by two BRIDGE facilitators Pavel Cabacenco from Moldova, and Bermet Mameyeva from Kyrgyzstan. It was attended by 28 participants (14 women and 14 men) drawn from the Central Election Commission, state agencies, political parties, civil society organizations and media. The main purpose of the workshop was to provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to improve women’s participation in the electoral process, and learn to develop key strategies to overcome barriers to the participation of women in elections. The workshop provided the opportunity to understand why women’s participation is crucial to electoral processes and democracy more broadly. In addition, it was a good networking opportunity for CEC, governmental institutions, political parties and civil society organizations working on gender issues. The workshop was officially opened by the Deputy Chair of the CEC Uzbekistan Mr. Kuchkarov and IFES Country Director in Uzbekistan Tamar Zhvania. During the first day of the workshop participants discussed the differences between sex and gender, explored a gender dimension of the electoral cycle, gender equality international principles and standards, goals and targets as well as progress made in Uzbekistan in the gender field during the last years. The second day focused on gender quotas, the role of political parties and strategies of women’s empowerment, political finance dimension of gender. On the third day participants learned about gender mainstreaming and the role of the election management bodies, civil society and media in this process. They also discussed about the methodology of gender audit and developed personal and organizational strategies and draft action plans.
The workshop was marked by active involvement, discussions and debates held by participants. All of them highly appreciated the content of the workshop and BRIDGE methodology it was based on. During the workshop evaluation participants mentioned that the knowledge they’ve got at the workshop will help them in their future work, improve existing projects and give the possibility to develop new ones. Many participants suggested organizing more BRIDGE workshops in the future. At the end of the workshop, participants were granted certificates of completing the modular workshop.