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ECOWAS gender/elections workshop calls for mobilization of women

…to promote the conduct of peaceful elections in Guinea*

[Image: ECOWAS Commissioner for women affairs, Dr Fatimata Dia SOW]

The national elections in Guinea are scheduled to hold on 11th October 2015, and the women of Guinea have been charged to promote women’s electoral participation and political representation in the forthcoming elections in the country.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow gave this charge at the opening of the Gender and Elections training workshop in Conakry, on the 1st of October 2015.   

The training workshop which uses the BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) methodology and supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has already been held for women and stakeholders in Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

Commissioner Sow, who was represented by the ECOWAS Director of Gender Dr. Sintiki Ugbe, informed the 40 participants that the training is aimed at strengthening their capacities for enhanced political engagement and greater inclusion of women in national democratic processes.

 “We are proud that our community citizens and women in particular have contributed to the peaceful elections in Togo and Nigeria. We pay tribute to the women in Togo and Nigeria for their untiring efforts to ensure the conduct of peaceful and successful elections. 

“We are confident Burkina Faso, Cote d’lvoire and Guinea will follow the precedence already set” the Commissioner added.

She urged the participants to sensitise the citizenry against all forms of electoral violence, and the need for political actors and stakeholders to abide by the code of conduct provisions of the African Charter on elections, democracy and good governance. The code includes a commitment by political stakeholders to accept the results of the elections or challenge them through legal channels.

Commissioner Sow congratulated the Government and People of Guinea on their national independence anniversary on the 2nd, of October, and used the occasion to commend them for their dogged fight and resilience against the dreaded scourge of Ebola.

The Guinean Minister of Social Affairs and the Promotion of Women and Children (MASPFE), represented by the Minister of Environment, Madam Kajiatu N’Diaye said the workshop is auspicious as the Ministry has been working hard at improving the representation of women in decision making positions at all levels.

She noted that women’s participation is indispensable to the development of the Guinean economy and the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The minister maintained that the social conditions of women in Guinea need improvement to enhance their status in the larger society. Madam N’Diaye re-called the adoption of the African Union (AU) Charter and other legal instruments on democracy, good governance and elections by the Guinean government as a demonstration of the commitment to the protection of human rights. In her final remarks, the Minister commended ECOWAS Commission on this important initiative.

Among the dignitaries that attended the Opening Ceremony of the training workshop were the Special Representative of the ECOWAS Commission President to Guinea, Madam Zaba N. Jacqueline Marie, the former Minister of Public Function, Madam Makale Traore, the Director General, Centre for the Support and Self-Promotion of Women (CAAF), Madam Fatoumata Traore, and the Director of Cabinet, Ministry of Defence.

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