By Natia Kashakashvili
UNDP’s Strengthening Electoral and Legislative Processes (SELP) project provides technical assistance to support the institutional development of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Senate and the National and Provincial Assemblies. The core focus of programme activities is developing the professional skills of the Honorable Members as well as the Secretariat officials to enhance the key functions of each institution. UNDP, jointly with ECP, has launched a comprehensive training programme for the capacity building of ECP officers across Pakistan; this training programme consists of Non-BRIDGE and BRIDGE training modules.
For the purpose of professional development of ECP Officers, UNDP, jointly with ECP, has conducted 3-day BRIDGE modular workshop on Gender Equality and Elections during 12-14 October, 2019. The workshop was conducted at the premises of ECP’s Federal Election Academy. The workshop was facilitated by BRIDGE facilitators Natia Kashakashvili (accrediting level lead UNDP facilitator), Asif Ali Yasin (accrediting level ECP facilitator), Nighat Siddique (workshop level ECP facilitator), Salma Hassan (workshop level UNDP facilitator). The workshop language was mainly English; though due to the participants’ diversity, local facilitators were facilitating sessions in Urdu.
The workshop was attended by 29 Election Officers across Pakistan Provincial and District offices.
The objective of the workshop was to equip participants with the good practices on how best to promote the participation of women in electoral and political processes.
Workshop followed the activities envisaged by the Agenda based on the V3 curriculum. The workshop agenda mainly concentrated on understanding the reasons of inequalities that imbalances the level playing field and how to minimize the existing inequalities by mainstreaming gender throughout the Electoral Cycle. International IDEA quota resources and IPU database were extensively used during the workshop.
Participants throughout the workshop have expressed interest and actively engaged in all the activities. Participants have engaged in the interactive sessions with more interest. Throughout the workshop participants’ appreciation towards BRIDGE methodology was increasing.