UN Women Ethiopia’s Gender Equality and Elections workshop for NEBE voter education activities

UN Women Ethiopia in collaboration with National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has organized BRIDGE workshop for NEBE’s Voter Education Experts and UNV’s supporting NEBE’s voter education interventions, members of the women’s political empowerment training curriculum development committee from Bahir Dar University and CSOs working in the field of voter education. The workshop aimed to increase participant’s awareness on women participation in electoral processes and enhance capacities of to ensure gender inclusive voter education.

The workshop was led online by Shalva Tskhakaia and Natia Kashakashvili and held with combined modality during 17-19 February, 2021 in Addis Ababa. In total 22 participants representing NEBE (7), UNVs working with NEBE regional offices (6), Civil Society Organizations (4) and Academia (5) attended the workshop; amongst the participants 17 were men and 5 women It’s important to mention the UN Women colleagues/facilitators’ (Cherer Aklilu and Rediet Yaschalew) continuous support and hard work in ensuring the friendly atmosphere as well as organizing the participants’ interaction at the training room. UN Women facilitators were very responsive to the needs of the BRIDGE facilitators and overall the smooth communication led to the very harmonized facilitation.

During the workshops, participants have gained the knowledge about international standards and best practices for ensuring equal rights for men and women in electoral process; participants have analyzed various obstacles that are faced by women as voters, candidates and as election officials and examined interventions to address inequalities throughout the Electoral Cycle as well as within the organization. Participants were also explained the systematic barriers such as the impact of Electoral Systems on women representation and the importance of designing gender quota wisely. The workshop last sessions focused participants on “make it happen” and developed gender-inclusive 100-day plan.

Participants have shown immense interest in the topic and enjoyed using of the online training tools (mentimeter, google forms, google docs, and online flipcharts). In order to ensure participants’ understanding of the topic while considering the time limits, facilitators had to adapt session delivery approaches on the go, in some cases replacing active learning with the passive methods.

Participants have praised the professionalism of the facilitators and the ability to fully engage participants regardless of the modality. Participants have expressed their opinion about the conduct and content of the workshop through the evaluation forms (conducted in written and verbal format):

  • Its design/arrangement, contents, the perspectives included in the course, the combination of theoretical and practical realities of women participation in politics and the existing realities, and the overall feedback in the session was very attractive and a good lesson to be shared. I was very pleased to the activities that were given during the session.
  • The course aimed at giving emphasis to women-related issues throughout the electoral process (before, during and after election), and this is very essential especially in a society where women have several obstacles not only to participate in election, but also in their day-to-day life.
  • Its contents, the way it was presented and put both theories and realities, the examples included in it, the much emphasize given to the EMB and other stakeholders and the inclusivism of the course that deals and analyses national, regional and global contexts and realities.
  • Admirable course and it talks about every side for electoral cycles and consideration of gender mainstreaming
  • Very interactive and participatory. Part what EMB has to do to increase women participation and increase their number in political participation is very great and necessary at this time.
  • The method of teaching is interesting and I get a new way of giving training; I will take it and apply when I will train other individuals
  • Really the course and the presenters are resourceful and smart professional whom I need to consider as my role models.
  • Really, the presenters are resourceful and follow attractive training and learning methodology that are needed in our age, 21st century.
  • The module organization, delivery methodologies and examples were very interesting.
  • I enjoyed the way the presenters were organized, precise and the informative nature of the training.

Overall, the modality of the BRIDGE workshop provided worthy level of interactivity and participants’ ability to develop new knowledge and skills, while the facilitators’ ability to interact with participants during the group work stayed the main challenge.

At the end of the workshop, participants were granted certificates with the electronic signatures of the facilitators.

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