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Women political participation needs more than just quotas

8-7-2014

The Daily Star newspaper published a report about the limited participation of Lebanese women in politics, pointing out that while 51 percent of Lebanon’s 3.5 million voters are women, only 20 percent of polling officials are women, according to UNDP’s Lebanese Electoral Assistance Program (LEAP) data, which is working alongside the Interior Ministry to establish more women poll officials for the next Lebanese parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2014.
Richard Chambers, the Chief Technical Adviser at LEAP, said that parties from all across the political spectrum acknowledge the need to include more women in Lebanese politics, but agreeing what steps to take toward that end have proved more difficult. He added that establishing quotas in Lebanon may be a good goal to have, but it is important to work simultaneously toward integrating women in other phases of the electoral process.
For his part, Said Sanadiki, a program adviser for LEAP explained that a number of temporary measures can be implemented to motivate parties to put forward female candidates. Based on that, he pointed out that the his programme is organizing a five-day training course next week, to be attended by representatives from six parties from both political blocs, the March 8 and March 14 groups, in order to address some of these issues, and in order to suggest measures that will be adopted so as to ensure higher female participation in November’s elections.
Source: The Daily Star 8 July 2014

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