The National Elections Commission (NEC) in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) has commenced a two- day gender strategy and methodology workshop in Monrovia. The workshop, which is being held at a local hotel, started Wednesday with NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, emphasizing the need for more women participation.
Speaking on behalf of Chairman Korkoya, Commissioner Samuel Joe said NEC through its gender section will continue to guide and encourage political parties to integrate gender mainstreaming programs that will promote parity in their internal leadership structures. Commissioner Joe asserted that the commission has conducted a number of gender equity workshops for political parties with support from international partners.
He stressed that there is lot more to be done towards the attainment of gender in election, saying "That is why workshop is very important because it seeks to create platform that gives stakeholders the opportunity to dialogue on the way forward.
With the caliber of knowledge facilitators and participants here, I am very confident that the outcome of the workshop will further strengthen the gender section in tackling the challenges that impede increased women's participation in elections."
It can be recalled that since the establishment of the gender section at the NEC to mainstream gender in all aspects of the electoral process in 2011, IDEA and other international organizations, including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), UNDP and Women Campaign International have been very supportive of activities of the section.
"The technical and financial support that these partners continue to provide" Joe noted, "has helped to increase the commission's own commitment to gender equality in the electoral process in Liberia. For this, the commission is grateful."
He said NEC is mindful that upholding the principle of inclusive and effective participation of all in the electoral process in Liberia is critical to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. He added that the commission also recognizes that political parties' structures could be important tools in promoting and enhancing women's participation in the political process.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, the Senior Programme Manager of IDEA, Madame Rumbidzai Kandiwasvika, said the workshop is intended to sharpen the skills of employees of the commission on gender-related issues.