Photo credit: International IDEA,Tunis Office
To further discuss the establishment of a gender electoral network in the Arab region, the Organization of Arab Electoral Management Bodies (Arab EMBs), the UNDP and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) agreed last July to hold a meeting in August 2018.
This initiative is one of the recommendations from the regional workshop held in 2016 by the UNDP and the Arab EMBs on ‘The Role of EMBs in Promoting Women’s Political Participation’. It was presented to a group of election administrators, regional leaders and international experts during an advisory group meeting. The meeting also resulted in the formation of a Working Group that would take forward the meeting agreements and lead the process of establishing and launching the network. The Working Group is composed of representatives and experts from the League of Arab States, National Independent Electoral Commission of Somalia, The High National Election Commission of Libya, National Election Commission of Sudan, The Independent Elections Commission of Jordan, The Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia, The Central Elections Commission of Palestine, The Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq, as well as the former Mayor of Bethlehem, the UNDP Regional Hub of Arab States, IFES and International IDEA.
During the first meeting of the working group, which took place in Tunis for the period 13-15 August 2018 and was hosted by International IDEA, the UNDP Regional Office, and Arab EMBs, the participants made further progress towards the definition of objectives, scope of work, composition and the outreach strategy for the Network.
The first day of the workshop coincided with the Tunisian National Women’s Day, participants were honored to host Ms Souad Abderrahim, the first female mayor of Tunis, to share her experience with the participants.