Carrying on further with an already unveiled comprehensive plan of Skills and Capacity Building of the mid-management and operational Officers level of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Federal Election Academy of ECP and UNDP jointly organized a three-day training workshop on BRIDGE Module – Gender and Elections for the participants of on-going 6th Election Management Course, from 9th to 11th August, 2017, in the ECP Secretariat premises at Islamabad. 29 participants, including 26 male and 3 female, all belonging to the Election Commission of Pakistan, were representing the four provinces of the country i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and the ECP Secretariat at Islamabad.
The aim and objectives of the workshop was to acquaint the participants with concept and perspective on gender in elections, particularly, encouraging and working with stakeholders for participation of women in the electoral process and enable them to develop strategies for gender mainstreaming. Mr. Shamshad Khan, Additional Director General (Training, Research and Evaluation), FEA, inaugurated the training, emphasizing the participants that understanding the electoral process from gender perspective is as important as their professional skills in other spheres of conduct of elections.
For developing content, the facilitation team, led by international Accrediting Facilitator, Ljupka Guguchevska, took the BRIDGE Module on Gender and Elections as base material, which was customized and augmented in different areas to tailor it to local context, customs and need of the participants. Mainly following topics were covered:
i). Glossary and definitions relating to gender;
ii). Gender: Socio-cultural perspective;
iii). Barriers to women participation in electoral process;
iv). Protection for women’s political participation – global perspective;
v). Region-wise women’s participation in electoral process;
vi). Laws relating to women’s representation in Pakistan;
vii). Gender issues in elections and mitigation;
viii). Obstacles to women’s participation;
ix). Quota’s and women’s representation – a global perspective;
x). Gender issues at workplace and gender mainstreaming;
xi). Way forward – a step-by-step strategy;
xii). Voters education plan – an outreach strategy to women;
xiii). Female friendly polling plan;
The training methodology was highly interactive and participatory. The participants keenly involved in the role plays, discussions, group work, brainstorming, shared experiences and give their input to develop future strategies for gender mainstreaming in their sphere of working at various levels of the electoral processes, ranging from registration of vote to polling.
Having in sight the General Elections – 2018 in the country, the participants were motivated to prepare plans and strategies together with stakeholders in their respective districts to increase outreach to women folk, as a marginalized group mostly in the rural areas, by devising targeted female voters’ registration and education plans, address barriers to women’s participation in the elections and maximize participation of women in the elections. The participants also demonstrated the learning outcome by preparing of some targeted voters educations and women friendly polling stations, which they thought would effectively redress barriers in participation of women in the electoral processes.
The concluding and certificates distribution ceremony was attended by Mr. Shamshad Khan, ADG (TR&E), who thanked the participants and facilitation team for delivering a productive and professionally useful training, in the context of forthcoming General Elections in the country.
1). Ms. Ljupka Guguchevska – Accrediting Facilitator;
2). Mr. Aziz Bahadar, ECP – Accrediting Facilitator;
3). Mr. Ikram Ali Ghumro, UNDP – Workshop Facilitator;
4). Ms. Salma Hasan, UNDP- Workshop Facilitator