A Premiere in the Electoral Field – International Association of Women in Electoral Management (WEM)

Today, 7 June 2016, a high-level reunion took place in Chisinau to establish the International Association of Women in Electoral Management (WEM) - International. The inaugural event gathered international election officials, international election and gender experts, and representatives of central public authorities and diplomatic missions accredited in the Republic of Moldova, civil society and mass media.

The establishment of the International Association to promote gender equality in the election administration entities was initiated in September 2015 by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) and the Centre for Continuous Electoral Training (CICDE) under the Central Electoral Commission, with the support of the UN Women in Politics Programme and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Improving the Quality of Moldovan Democracy though Parliamentary and Electoral Support Programme, financially supported by the Government of Sweden and Norway.

The goal of the new institution is to mobilize electoral management institutions from its member countries to trace and implement real commitments in the area of gender equality and to promote equal chances of accession to all decision-making levels in the political, economic and public life for both sexes.

Liliana Palihovici, Vice Specked of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, mentioned the provisions of the Law No. 180 recently voted by the Parliament, which provides a guarantee for gender equality in Moldova. "I'm glad the meeting on the establishment of the Association is taking place in Moldova. My hope is that the Law No. 180 will influence the rapid expansion of WEM-International worldwide" pointed out Liliana Palihovici.

 “While significant attention has been paid to women’s political participation in the electoral process, less focus has been placed on the bodies which administer elections and the role they play in encouraging women’s participation. I hope the Women in Electoral Bodies International initiative has a potential to cover this gap”, stated Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

Dr Iurie Ciocan, the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, declared: “The basic idea of this association is to promote gender equality in all electoral bodies of all levels and to encourage the participation of women in political life.

Furthermore, during the inauguration of the Association, infographics were presented on the subject “Gender Equality in Electoral Processes in the Republic of Moldova.” This product shows an analysis of participation of women and men in general parliamentary and local elections conducted in the years 2007-2015 in the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, the share of women and men in decision-making processes is shown as well. Please see more details here. (aici va fi link la acel studiu)

In addition, today, the Global Publication “A Guide for Electoral Management Bodies on Promoting of Gender Equality and Women’s Participation” was launched, delivered by UNDP and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).