FEFA hosted another session of the women’s advocacy group on Oct, 23 to discuss women’s political rights verification program, FEFA has recently initiated. For the purposes of determining that the conditions exist are conducive to the holding of free and fair Presidential and Provincial Council elections for women and fostering the development of FEFA’s research and advocacy skills, FEFA is carrying out the political rights verification (PRV) throughout the country. The preliminary stages of PRV have begun and involve performing interviews with female aspirant provincial council candidates using special checklists and forms in 34 provinces. The participants discussed the mechanisms FEFA uses for PRV and gave appropriate comments. Brochures and brief introduction to the PRV provided beforehand were also distributed to the participants.
Subsequently, the group reviewed the preliminary list of the 2014 presidential candidates and while expressing their concern over the limited number of women on the list and with only one woman as the second vice president, discussed mechanisms to encourage candidates to consider prominent programs for empowering women’s role in political processes. According to elections timeline, the final list of Presidential and Provincial Councils’ candidates will be published on Nov 16. For this purpose, the group recommended the following working procedure:
- At the next session, the group
- will comparatively study the candidates’ policies and agendas after the final list is published and before the campaign period commences and prepare a comprehensive recommended proposal including women empowerment exclusive programs;
- will prepare a pledge letter that will be signed upon receipt of the candidates’ commitment on the inclusion of proposed recommendations in their campaign agendas;
- will set up appointments with candidates to share the recommended proposal and the pledge letter;
- will discuss conducting a conference in the presence of civil society organizations and women rights activists and the media to share the result of their meetings with the candidates and the articles of pledge letter.
This approach will not only bolster the group’s advocacy skills but also encourage candidates’ to design their agendas in a way that include efficient and applicable programs for women.