© Thomas Fréteur | International IDEA
From 27-30 November 2016, International IDEA Haiti office organized a conference for the National Federation of Women Mayors of Haiti (FENAFEMH), in partnership with the South Training Institute (IFOS).
For the first time in Haiti, a 30% gender quota was implemented for municipal election. As a result, there are now 143 female mayors in the country (12 Mayors and 131 Deputy Mayors). The objective of this historic event was to allow all female mayors (130 attended the conference) from the 10 departments of the country to meet, share their experience, best practices and lessons learned, but also to strengthen their knowledge on a variety of topics such as democratic accountability at local level or gender mainstreaming in municipal policies. Also, the event allowed to reinforce the functioning of FENAFEMH and support female mayors in the exercise of their functions. Several other themes were discussed, including: democracy and governance, democracy and accountability, territorial collectivity and decentralization, management of municipalities and capacity building, specific needs and strategic interests of women in public policies, the function of mayor, and financing the development of municipalities. These themes were selected to respond to the female mayors’ needs and challenges they face.
Members of several bodies concerned by these important issues intervened during the conference, including: Rose Esther Sincimat, former director general of the Ministry of Women Affairs; Claire Lydie Parent, former mayor of Petion Ville; Kesner Pharel, president of the think tank Group Croissance; Natacha Clergé, executive director of women’s association Fanm Yo La; Adeline Macajoux, professor in protocol; Edouard Paultre, coordinator of the organization Haitian Council of Non-State Actors (CONHANE); Henri Boucicaut, legal adviser at the Office of Management and Human Resources (OMRH); Hervé Saint Preux, specialist in public administration and decentralization; Jean Yves Jason, former mayor of Port-au-Prince; Yves Lafortune, president of the firm Consultation and Resultats; Jenny Sterlin, consultant of the firm Consultation and Resultats; Salnave Jean Pierre, former director of accounts clearance at the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation.
The former executive director of the Association of female mayors of Bolivia, Maria Eugenia Rojas Valverde came to share her experience with Haiti’s Mayors.
According to the participating female mayors, the information and recommendations from these interventions were extremely helpful to support their mandate and provide them with practical tools that will support the implementation of local policies for development.
This national conference of female mayors followed a working session organized in September 2016 by International IDEA with the board of the FENAFEMH. International IDEA supported the elaboration of a roadmap to strengthen the female mayors Federation.
In the following months, International IDEA will continue to work with the FENAFEMH to reinforce the solidarity between female mayors and support them in their willingness to work for local development and democracy.