The SNEC-UNDP and NEC Sierra Leone Launched a BRIDGE workshop- Gender and Elections Workshop, took place in Freetown from 30th July-2nd August 2018.
The event brought together a diverse group of Sierra Leonean stakeholders in the electoral process notably; Civil Society Organisations, Security Forces, Women organisations and Religious Authorities to enhance their knowledge of gender and elections.
The workshop module was customised from the gender module and the Voter Education Module of the BRIDGE curriculum. The workshop was part of the post-election activities highlighted by NEC in their Action Plan.
The agenda included: importance of election, introduction to legal framework and source of international standard, CEDAW, sex and gender definitions, electoral system overview, temporary special measures, access to electoral process, developing access strategy and identifying key barriers, electoral awareness approaches and EVAW in election. All topics were covered
Eighteen participants attended the training, 4 of them were men.
The participant’s evaluation for the workshop was very good/excellent.
Below is the summary of the participants’ answers which gives a comprehensive view on the participants’ appreciation of the course.
What is the single most important/useful thing that you have learnt during the workshop?
- The special measures about CEDAW
- Developing access strategy
- Temporary Special Measures/quota system
- The differences between Sex and Gender
- The importance of elections to consolidate democracy
- Political parties also have a role to play in promoting Women’s participation in elections
- The Journey of gender equality should be taken seriously as this will also benefit our children
- The role of women throughout the electoral cycle
- Barriers women face in the electoral process and the strategies to overcome them
- We should personalised gender if we want a breakthrough. This strengthen our commitment to action
- The zebra nomination method encourages women’s representation in parliament
- Electoral stakeholders and their role in the electoral process
- From the power walk I learnt that we cannot move at the same pace altogether because of other factors and barriers which we need to identify and reduce
- The training is very key to my women activist because it enhances their knowledge in advocacy
- The training was impressive especially on the mechanism for improving women representation
- The learning outcome were met and the group work came out with lots of idea, challenges and possible strategies
- Each facilitator adapted a methodology that enables participants to understand all the topics
What can be improved on the course?
- More time needed for the running of the workshop. 4 days is not enough because there is a lot of things to be learnt.
- Learning materials should be distributed to participants in advance.
- Increase the CSO participation in training of such kind
- Carry a residential course and have all participant in one venue for maximum output
- It was excellent.
- Very clear and fantastic – well planned and well prepared.
- Facilitators were well prepared. Did very well.
- Well conducted and good facilitators.
- Facilitators provided space for interaction among participants which gave an opportunity for them to exchange their experiences.
- Facilitators were understandable.
- Fantastic! They have added new skills that I didn’t have.
- It was so nice and very friendly
Do you have any additional comments?
- The timing of the workshop was good but should also involve other participants such as schools teachers, and other institutions that can convey the message
- More women should be included in workshops like this for more empowerment
- Very good exercise, the training is educative
- We need more training of this kind in future.
- This should not be the last course.
- All presentations done by groups should be made available to all participants (via email).