The workshop was a unique opportunity to strengthen the capacities of the participants and also to continue raising awareness on the civil and political rights of minorities and marginalized groups. In the words of an Electoral Commissioner who participated in the training, “this workshop has allowed us to consider new aspects of the electoral process, in particular the rights of marginalized groups such as women, handicapped persons and the youth, among others. From now on we will do our best to make the electoral process more inclusive for these groups and make sure that their rights are respected, as recommended by international legal instruments”.
The President of the Malagasy Association for Deaf People and the President of the Malagasy Association for the Blind participated actively in the workshop and shared their experiences. As stated by many of the participants these testimonials changed their own understanding of the rights of handicapped persons, in particular regarding the access to the electoral process. Despite the fact that Madagascar signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, it has not yet been ratified and handicapped persons often suffer from discrimination.
The preparations for this training included the translation of a number of BRIDGE materials into French and the customization of the module to the Malagasy context.
This workshop was facilitated by Samia Mahgoub (Belgium, expert facilitator), Pierre Claver Ndayicariye (Burundi, workshop facilitator), Lluís Juan Rodríguez
(Spain, semi-accredited facilitator) and Harivola Reine Ramananjanahary (Madagascar, semi-accredited facilitator). The latter two obtained their full
accreditation as workshop facilitators at the end of the course.