FEFA's First Meeting with WPRAG

FEFA’s Women Outreach division held a meeting on November 8, 2012 to present and discuss the recommendations for MoWA’s electoral policy. The meeting was attended by a number of prominent personalities and women rights activists whose main goals evolve around women’s full accessibility to their political rights. Taking all the challenges and problems women faced as either candidates or voters in the past four electoral cycles into account, the policy was drafted and proposed by FEFA and was shared with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in order to enable this government institution to play its part effectively in strengthening the political role of women in upcoming elections.

A brief introduction of the policy was presented and the goals and expectations of the meeting were set clear at the beginning of the meeting. A PowerPoint presentation prepared by FEFA’s Women Outreach Officer explicitly highlighted the main objectives of the policy. The attendees were then given the time to present their opinions, ask questions and make suggestions for further betterment of the recommended policy. The participants showed their appreciation on the efforts made by FEFA in drafting such insightful recommendations for MoWA’s electoral policy and for conducting such a valuable meeting.

FEFA’s Recommendations for MoWA’s Electoral Policy

FEFA believes that MoWA (Ministry of Women’s Affairs), as a national institution protecting women’s rights can play a pivotal role in ensuring women’s full participation in all aspects of political processes. By strengthening its role, MoWA can exert meaningful influence on women’s participation in elections. It is evident that there still exist many remaining obstacles to women’s political participation in elections, including gender stereotypes, psychological and traditional barriers, and inequalities in education, training and resources. Therefore it is necessary to eliminate these challenges that are proved to be serious impediments to women’s participation. FEFA believes if certain changes are developed in the laws and are properly implemented, they can help enhance women’s political rights and electoral participation.

 1) Adopting a policy for enhancing women’s electoral participation:

FEFA believes if MoWA adopts a comprehensive policy that guarantees women’s active political participation can definitely make a significant impact on the empowerment of women’s role in elections. The policy must be designed to identify elements that may prompt indirect discrimination or disproportionally disadvantage women during elections.

2) Encouraging collaboration among election management bodies, observatory organizations, civil society, political parties and security institutions:

Discussion on Development of a Specific Mechanism for Verifying the Cases of Dissuasion in Candidacy of Female Candidates in Provincial Councils Elections

September/25/2013
Women’s Political Rights Advocacy Group convened a session on September 23rd to further discuss the recommendation proposals to the Ministries of Education, Interior Affairs and Women’s Affairs and amend them based on the challenges shown in FEFA’s reports on voter registration process.
At the session, the proposal drafted for the Ministry of Education was taken under debate and members added the following recommendations amid emphasizing on amending the proposal in a way that the ministry’s impartiality is protected throughout the process:

1. The Ministry shall outline a framework for the implementation of the recommendations to ensure the impartiality of its staff members, teachers and school principals;
2. The Ministry shall send an official letter to all schools and educational institutions urging them to maintain impartiality throughout the process;
3. Amercement for failure to maintain impartiality and in severe cases, expulsion from job will be decided by the Ministry.

Women’s Political Rights Advocacy Group, “Presidential candidates must encompass efficient and applicable programs for women’s empowerment in their campaign agendas.”

FEFA hosted another session of the women’s advocacy group on Oct, 23 to discuss women’s political rights verification program, FEFA has recently initiated. For the purposes of determining that the conditions exist are conducive to the holding of free and fair Presidential and Provincial Council elections for women and fostering the development of FEFA’s research and advocacy skills, FEFA is carrying out the political rights verification (PRV) throughout the country. The preliminary stages of PRV have begun and involve performing interviews with female aspirant provincial council candidates using special checklists and forms in 34 provinces. The participants discussed the mechanisms FEFA uses for PRV and gave appropriate comments. Brochures and brief introduction to the PRV provided beforehand were also distributed to the participants.

Recommendations for the Electoral Policy of the Education Ministry

Women’s Political Rights Advocacy Group held a meeting on September 2nd to discuss recommendation proposal for the Ministry of Education.
At the beginning of the session, FEFA shared its report on the first phase of the observation process with a greater focus on major problems hindering women’s participation in the process. The participants were also asked to keep FEFA’s recommendations at the end of the report in mind when lobbying with relevant entities to help diminish challenges facing women. The group then started working on a proposal for the electoral policy of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to enhance the role of the mentioned entity in election. The recommendations are as follows:
1. The Ministry of Education and IEC to sign a MoU.
2. Encourage students of junior and senior classes of high schools to obtain voting cards and participate in elections.
3. IEC to deploy teams of civic educators to teach students about the significance of elections and public participation.

FEFA

Kartee- 4 Hajari Najari Street, Behind Russian Cultural Institute, House#013

Tel:+93-799 -310664

Web site: www.fefa.org.af

    

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