What we did: We supported the Arab Network for Women in Elections with a series of workshops held in hybrid face-to-face and virtual mode between August and October 2021.

What we achieved: At least in part because of the workshops, in December the Network launched a regional campaign to promote women’s participation with the aim of fostering inclusivity in electoral processes.

Who we did it with: The Arab Network for Women in Elections, the Arab Organization for Electoral Management Bodies, UNDP-Arab States Regional Electoral Assistance Project

Impact area: Electoral Processes

Donor: Core

Award period: 2021

Boundary partners: Arab Electoral Management Bodies Network and Arab Gender Network

 

The extension of the right to vote to women in Arab countries has increased their participation, leading to some 42 per cent of voters in the region being women. On the other hand, the number of women candidates did not exceed 29 per cent of the total number of candidates. In Arab parliaments, despite the remarkable improvement in women’s representation from 6 per cent in 2004 to 18.2 per cent in 2022, it remains below the world average of 26 per cent. 

To this end, International IDEA has made women’s participation one of its main axes in improving the inclusiveness of electoral processes in the Arab region by adopting a regional and national, multi-actor and diversified strategy.

Most recently, a series of workshops, held in hybrid face-to-face and virtual mode between August and October 2021, resulted in a regional campaign, launched in Amman on 21 December, under the title Her Participation, Our Future. Twelve Arab election management bodies (EMBs) took part in the events, as well as civil society groups and regional organizations. New means of information-sharing and awareness-raising have been adopted to combat discriminatory attitudes towards women in the Arab region on family voting, violence and limitations on the right to candidacy. To this end, a play, a traditional dance, and the testimonies of Arab women were broadcast at the Media Centre of the Independent Election Commission in Jordan. 

Combating this exclusion will be the main target of the campaign, which will last one year and will be duplicated at the national level, especially during the electoral processes of Network members Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia.

Photo: Arab Network for Women in Elections / Facebook page