Twenty-two fully accredited and active BRIDGE facilitators from the Pacific are in Nadi, Fiji for a 10-day workshop organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women's (UNIFEM Pacific Regional Office) Gender Equality in Political Governance (GEPG) Programme.
GEPG's Regional Research, Monitoring & Evaluations Coordinator, Dr Priya Chattier, in opening the workshop stated that participants will not only to learn about the principles of electoral issues but also how they affect women's representation.
“It will enable you to better understand and analyze the electoral system used and the socio-political context of each Pacific country based on your experiences and lessons learnt as trainers and facilitators,” Dr Chattier said.
“Considering that gender equality is a fundamental right and is essential for successful economic and social development of a nation, this BRIDGE workshop will present you with options for increasing women's access to and representation in politics,” Dr Chattier told participants.
“As BRIDGE facilitators you are skilled experts in the area of electoral management and women's participation in political processes and I trust that you will explore best practices and models on the use of Temporary Special Measures (TSM) for women within the context of each current electoral system of the Pacific to empower women into strong and active citizens and increase their representation in political decision making at all levels.”
The workshop brings together 3 Accrediting and 19 workshop facilitators of 7 countries actively involved in rolling out BRIDGE methodology through the implementation of UNIFEM GEPG activities in Melanesia, as well as the other UN member countries in empowering, building capacity, raising awareness and engaging in advocacy on democracy, gender, elections and women's political participation.
The GEPG programme aims to increase the participation of women as active citizens and leaders, strengthening their participation and representation in informal leadership roles, as well as in local government and national politics.
The purpose of the workshop is for facilitators as practitioners on the ground share lessons learned on challenges and success stories, gain more knowledge and understanding of GEPG aims and outcomes, and to help them tailor activities of the selected modules below to be more friendly to women:
* Electoral Systems
* Gender and Elections
* Media and Elections
* Electoral Contestants
* Civic Education
* Voter Information
* Electoral Observation
* Introduction to Electoral Administration
* Electoral Assistance
* Access to the Electoral Process
* Democracy in Our Place
* Ethics, Leadership and Good Governance (ABRIDGE).
The workshop is being held from 19-30 April at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi, Fiji with participants from Fiji, Niue, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.