Gender and Elections Workshop in Lahore, Pakistan

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Gender and Elections Workshop in Lahore, Pakistan

Twenty-four electoral management professionals from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) gathered in Lahore, capital of the Punjab province of Pakistan to explore the gender dimensions of the electoral process from September 23-25, 2014. The three-day workshop on Gender and Elections was organized by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in collaboration with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) brought together ECP members from Islamabad and four provinces of Pakistan.

The workshop was conducted by a team of international and national experts: accredited BRIDGE facilitators Gabrielle Bardall, Pavel Cabacenco and Kulsoom Akhtar Meraj and semi-accredited facilitator Fayyaz Hussain Murad from the Election Commission of Pakistan. Saadia Mumtaz, IFES Pakistan Gender Project Officer was actively involved in the customization and delivery of the workshop.

The workshop was designed to meet the needs of ECP staff. Participants were taken through an intensive programme including understanding gender and elections in a global context and the international standards governing the area. The group studied electoral systems and their impact on the design of Temporary Special Measures (TSM). The course placed special emphasis on gender mainstreaming issues for electoral management bodies, including the Gender Units within electoral commissions and how EMBs can help prevent gender-specific election violence.

The overall evaluation of the workshop was positive. Participants rated the workshop as “good” and “very good”. The discussions were very stimulating and brought to participants a lot of new knowledge in gender and elections. It was a successful event which allowed for interaction and exchange of opinions between colleagues on a pertinent but frequently overlooked topic area.

BRIDGE Gender and Elections workshop was conducted in the framework of the IFES Pakistan “Support for Electoral Reform in Pakistan” (SERP) project supported by the Canadian Government, the European Union and the UK aid through the UK government. The SERP project aims to promote and strengthen electoral processes in Pakistan and to provide support to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

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