Verification of Political Rights during Campaign Period

Following political rights verification training held on October 3, 2013, FEFA conducted two day campaign political rights verification training on March 4-5. This training was aimed at updating information of provincial coordinators on the verification tools and polishing their skills on mechanisms of verification during campaign period. Taking into account the fact that the verification of political rights only focuses on women participants, 34 female provincial coordinators were given the privilege to attend the training.
At the training, the participants were briefed on the importance of verification during campaign period and were urged to further authenticate their reports by sharing them with the advocacy groups they have established in their provinces and cross check their findings with the reports published on local and national media outlets. The advocacy groups established in 34 provinces are comprised of members of civil society organizations, women rights activists, representatives of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs who actively take part in discussing the verification findings of FEFA provincial coordinators and providing their comments and feedback. These groups will not only enable FEFA expand its network in provinces but will importantly encourage women to collectively take action on the problems and together seek out ways to resolve them.

Verification of Political Rights of Women during Candidate’s Registration Process for Election 2014

January 26, 2014- Findings of the political rights verification team of FEFA show that security challenges and intimidation, discrimination against women and partiality of some security forces and Independent Election Commission’s staff were serious challenges before female candidates during the candidates’ registration process for Election 2014. At the same time most of the provincial council candidates were indulged with the mechanisms and procedures set out by the Independent Election Commission for the candidates’ nomination process.
Nader Nadery, FEFA chairman referred to an increase in the number of female candidates in compare with previous elections and acknowledged the efforts made by the Independent Election Commission and other relevant institutions to provide the necessary facilities for female candidates. Mr. Nadery added, “The biggest challenge hampering women participation in election is lack of security and therefore we urge security institutions to maintain security especially for female candidates in upcoming electoral stages.”
The political rights verification was carried out throughout the country where FEFA focused on prerequisite rights and principles set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
To increase the level of women participation in election and avoid the repetition of incidents identified in the verification report, FEFA urges the Independent Election Commission, security institutions and other relevant entities to take deliberate measures based on the findings of this report and experiences of election observer institutions.
Candidates’ registration process for the 2014 presidential and provincial council election began on September 16, 2013 and ended on October 6, 2013. According to the data released by the Independent Election Commission, 2713 candidates have registered for provincial councils 308 of which are female.

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Political rights verification Training

Free & Fair Elections Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) begins the verification exercise of women’s political rights in elections in joint venture with Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on October 7.
The main goal is to determine that conditions exist are conducive to the holding of free and fair elections for women. Other objectives of the program are as follows:
• Ensuring the full exercise by women of their political rights throughout Afghanistan, ahead of the elections and, in particular, during the electoral campaign
• Identifying the challenges and barriers to women’s political participation
• Adopting the necessary measures to investigate and verify cases of violations of women's political rights in elections
FEFA will be using its 34 female provincial coordinators to carry out the verification across the country. In order to ensure the efficient implementation of the program in provinces, FEFA conducted one-day training for the provincial coordinators in Kabul on October 3. At the training, rights and principles enshrined by the verification were explained and the participants were taught how to collect information and report to FEFA HQ. A brief group activity was done at the end of the training to further engage the participants

MoU between AIHRC and FEFA

Given the acknowledged importance of both democratic elections and the significant role of women in peace-building, enhancing women’s participation in elections in post-conflict societies is essential to building peace and democracy. However, having women’s equal involvement and full participation especially in post-conflict countries is laborious and needs the integral efforts of the government institutions, civil society and private sectors. The Afghan government’s initial practices of democracy has somewhat strengthened the role of women in political processes. However, women’s participation in elections has overall been very weak. As the experiences of previous elections show lack of an effective mechanism to strengthen cooperation among government institutions and CSOs has been the substantial problem in this regard. To avoid this obstacle, it is necessary to identify the baseline challenges and enhance the level of collaboration among these entities.
This MoU is executed by and between the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (hereinafter referred to as MoWA) and Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan organization (hereinafter referred to as “FEFAo”).

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