On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Gender Concerns International stands in solidarity with all of those who are addressing the issue of violence against women across the globe and supports the campaign Orange the World: #16 Days of Activism.
Today we reaffirm our commitment to draw attention to Electoral Violence, a least spoken form of violence against women. Electoral violence is associated with democratic electoral processes and often ignored by Election Management Bodies and Domestic and International Election Observers.
Women`s participation in election as voters, campaigners, candidates and managers is often confronted by harassment, intimidation, defamation, and physical abuse. Violence is used as a tool for forced resignations of female candidates and in the assassinations of women politicians.
Despite severe consequences of electoral violence that impacts the scope of women`s political participation, so far very narrow attention has been drawn to this issue. Since last 16 years Gender Concerns International has been engaged in addressing violence against women in pre and post-election period.
In 2005, as a supporter to the candidacy of Nawal Saadawi, Egypt`s first female presidential candidate against Mubarak, organisation highlighted the female candidacy factor as an easy target to be eliminated from the election-race through defaming narratives and verbal harassment campaigns.
Gender Concerns International through its Gender Election Observation Missions (GEOM), program observed various elections in countries including Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Myanmar and the Netherlands, promoting electoral gender parity. Addressing electoral violence against women remains a core focus of GEOM tool.
Today, Gender Concerns International reaffirms its commitment to continue drawing attention to electoral violence and welcome the opportunity to work closely with those who wish to come forward against gender-based electoral violence. GBV-electoral, says director, Sabra Bano,
Urging attention of international community by calling upon UNDP and UN Women to support efforts against the least spoken but very commonly prevailed violence that poses challenges to our joint support for democracy and SDGs 2030.
See the original press release here!