Conference: Substantive Principles on Women and Youth Meaningful Participation in Election

The Women & Youth Outreach Department of Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) held a conference on August 31, 2016 in Kabul Star Hotel to present the Declaration of Substantive Principles on Women and Youth Meaningful Participation in Election to representatives of chief executive office and presidency. The participants of this conference were 70 person from the Independent Human Rights Commission, the electoral commissions, political parties, CSOs, Youth Political Rights Advocacy Group, Women Political Rights Advocacy Group, university students, presidency and chief executive office, Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Haj & Religious Affairs.
Panelists of conference: Mr. Kamal Sadat (Deputy of Youth Affairs at Ministry of Information & Culture), Malalai Shinwari (Advisor of president), Mr. Hashmat Radfar (Advisor to chief executive office), Mrs. Zahra Yousuf (Advisor to office of first lady office) and Mr. Yousuf Rasheed (Executive director of FEFA).

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The Women and Youth Political Rights Advocacy Group held their third joint meeting

The Women and Youth Political Rights Advocacy Groups held their third joint meeting on June 22, 2016 to finalize the declaration of substantive principles of women and youth meaningful participation in election. The meeting began by reviewing the decisions of previous meeting and subsequently the participants discussed the declaration of substantive principles of women and youth meaningful participation in election. The participants recommended addition of following issues in the declaration:
- Misusing the believes and trust of youth;
- Using youth only during campaigns;
- Lowness of youth awareness;
- Warlords disbelieves on youth;
- Lack of preserving of impartiality of electoral staff which causes youth lose their believes on election process;
- Lack of opportunity for youth to take part in election;
- Distrust between youth;

Declaration of Substantive Principle on Women and Youth Meaningful Participation

Defining the principle for performance of an action is necessary prior to performance of the action. The common principle are minimum. There are some principles that all people accept them as general principles. After principles are discussed and debated, they can be identified. The Women and Youth Political Rights Advocacy Groups conducted regular meetings in order to come to agree on common principles.
Strengthen women and youth meaningful political participation strengthens the pillar of democracy in our country. FEFA as a professional election observation organization aimed to get the views of professional institutions and experts on women and youth meaningful political participation to come up with a joint declaration to share it with people, parliament, the government of Afghanistan and other related organizations.
FEFA’s main objective is to strengthen women and youth political quota in election. Women and youth compete to occupy political power so FEFA recommended these principles to increase meaningful participation.
This joint declaration of principles included 2 chapters and 20 principles which were identified as substantive principles by representatives of political parties, CSOs and media who were members of Women and Youth Political Rights Advocacy Groups. The first part of this declaration identifies the principles on women meaningful political participation whereas part two points out the principles on youth political participation.

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WPRAG and YPRAG met Dr. Abdullah Abadullah Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

The Women and Youth Political Rights Advocacy Groups of FEFA met with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Women & Youth Outreach officer of FEFA thanked the chief executive for his attention to women and youth and said, “FEFA held a survey entitled women and political participation to identify women challenges in election and released its findings through the declaration of substantive principles on women and youth meaningful political participation.” Subsequently, the declaration of substantive principles on women and youth meaningful political participation was shared with the chief executive.
The participants of meeting convinced the chief executive to take practical steps toward increasing women and youth political participation, breaking the barriers before women and youth, introduction of qualified women in managerial/political positions, strengthening role of women in electoral commissions, issuance of E-Tazkira and giving awareness about women rights. The chief executive appreciated FEFA’s proceedings and efforts and said, “Civil society acts as a linking bridge between state and nation but electoral reform requires long-term attempts and action.”

Conference Report: Women and Political Participation

At the beginning of the conference, Mr. Naim Asghari, programs manager of FEFA welcomed the participants and presented information on FEFA’s proceedings toward electoral reform and public trust building on electoral reform. He said, “The 2014 electoral challenges negatively impacted women.”
“Prior to commencement of work of Special Electoral Reform Commission, FEFA held successive meetings with political parties, CSOs, media and experts and came up with the declaration of substantive principles of electoral reform. The declaration was subsequently presented to government and electoral commissions. Likewise, FEFA’s Women & Youth Outreach Department has developed specific proposals about increasing women participation in political processes and presented to government. Similarly, FEFA held consultation meetings in 8 zones and focus groups in 6 zones to identify barriers before women participation in political processes and come up with specific proposals in this regard. The participants of these consultation meetings and focus groups were the representatives of Women Departments, CSOs, university professors and members of political parties. The report of findings of these consultation meetings and focus groups are now presented to you in this conference.”
Then, Mrs. Parasto Yari (The secretary of advisor of chief executive office) explained the objectives of conference and said, “Women participation in political processes in very important.” She said that Afghanistan is a democratic state but women are marginalized from leadership of the country. She said, “We need to identify the barriers before women participation in political processes and their role in macro-political decision making.” Then, she pointed out the efforts for increasing women role in political processes.” She added that participants of FEFA’s consultation meetings & focus groups have identified the challenges before women political participation and recommended solutions for them.

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Web site: www.fefa.org.af

    

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