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MoU signed to monitor gender aspect in elections

ISLAMABAD: The Gender Concerns International (GCI) and the Aurat Foundation on Sunday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to monitor the number and different aspects of women involved in the administration of elections by national and international monitors.

Addressing a press conference after signing the MoU, GCI Director Sabra Bano said, “Under this initiative, 15 international and 50 local observers will monitor the next elections from a gender perspective.”

“We also monitored the 2008 elections but it was on a small level. This time we are planning to make it more organised and effective,” she also said.

Sabra added that the GCI is an international gender and development organisation that has conducted a series of unique Gender Election Monitoring (GEM) Missions successfully, monitoring elections exclusively from a gender perspective in various countries, such as Tunisia, Morocco and Libya.

“We will have international observers mostly from all these countries and also other Arab countries so that Muslim countries can learn from the experience of each other. The prime objective is to ensure that the gender agenda is addressed by the newly elected government and women’s political participation is promoted in post-election Pakistan.”

Speaking on this occasion, Legislative Watch Group Manager Professor Farkhanda Aurangzeb said, “The major aim of this initiative is to motivate women to participate in the political arena.”

She also said, “Not only the number and situation of women voters and women candidates would be observed under this project but the different aspects of women involved in the administration of elections will also be monitored.”

According to the MoU, both the organisations would implement the advancement of political participation of women in Pakistan by building the capacity of women organisations, women parliamentarians and leaders.

Other salient steps included building the capacity of 50 or more domestic observers to monitor the elections in the country from a gender perspective, strengthening women self-organisations and ensuring interactions between women organisations and female parliamentarians. The activities also included national and international gender lobby and advocacy training. App

Daily Times