Launching a Gender Roadmap To increase Women’s Participation in Elections
In preparation for the parliamentary elections, the Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs (OMSWA), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lebanese Elections Assistance Project (LEAP), the European Union and the UN Women in Lebanon, launched a gender roadmap during the “Fostering the role of political parties to promote women’s representation in the upcoming Parliamentary elections 2018” workshop on Wednesday 17th of January in Beirut.
Aiming to enhance the meaningful participation of women in the upcoming elections, the joint roadmap presented alternatives, other than quota, to increase women’s participation in politics and help in advocating and influencing public behaviour to support the inclusion of women in public life. It included the development and production of a public media awareness campaign that targets Lebanese women as candidates and voters following the electoral calendar timeline. In addition, the partners conducted info sessions for potential women candidates, independents and party members, to enhance their capacities to manage their electoral campaigns. Furthermore, the agenda of the roadmap included a meeting with the media outlets to discuss their role in promoting women candidates and in increasing awareness on women’s participation in political life.
During the event, the minister of Women’s Affairs, Mr. Jean Oghassabian, the UN’s Acting Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ms. Pernille Kardel and the EU Ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Christina Lassen urged the political parties to give women opportunities to run for the upcoming elections especially with the presence of capable women in the Lebanese community.
The workshop included a discussion with representatives from six political parties as follows: Future Movement, Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanese Forces, Progressive Socialist Party, Amal Movement, and Hezbollah. The representatives presented the position of their respective political parties, each arguing that their party believes in gender equality and endorsed women running for Parliament.
It is worth mentioning that, after the conduct of the 2018 parliamentary elections, six women made it to become members of the parliament.
UNDP LEAP is funded by the EU and USAID.