On 31 May -2 June IFES Kyrgyzstan with financial support of USAID and in cooperation with Central Election Commission (CEC) of Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyz State Registration Service (SRS) held BRIDGE Disability Rights and Gender in Elections workshop.
The workshop became the learning and discussion platform for the twenty-one participants (15 female, 6 male), coming from IFES, CEC, SRS, civil society organizations defenders of the rights of persons with disabilities and women. It was the first time when BRIDGE has been organized in the country. Selection of the rights of persons with disability and gender and elections modules for the first national BRIDGE workshop came in respond to the electoral stakeholders’ requests and demonstrates their readiness to have an open and constructive dialog and cooperation.
The workshop conducted by the head of IFES Kyrgyzstan office, Renata Levovski and Pavel Cabacenco, accrediting BRIDGE facilitator was focused on the human rights terminology, main approaches and concepts of the inclusion of persons with disabilities and women in electoral process, international standards and best practices in creation of the inclusive environment throughout the electoral cycle. At the simulation exercise, participants had a chance to see and feel themselves what an inaccessible polling station is, leave through the limitations of persons with disabilities during the Election Day.
Participants highly appreciated the workshop and facilitation style. They mentioned that the workshop helped them understand better and see in different light necessity to insure accessibility of electoral process for persons with disabilities and women. Representatives of the different state and civil society organizations built a common ground for further cooperation, which will allow making electoral process in Kyrgyzstan more accessible.