Equateur Province: MONUSCO Encourages Women’s Full Participation In Electoral Process
Mbandaka, 29 July 2013 – The Electoral Section of MONUSCO on 25 July 2013 held a meeting in Mbandaka with women leaders from across Equateur province, to help them prepare themselves for the future provincial, municipal and local elections.
The meeting aimed to encourage a greater number of women to be candidates for the future polls. The women at the meeting stated their determination to play an active role in ensuring women's mass and effective participation in those elections.
They however pointed to what they saw as obstacles to their full participation in the electoral process. In particular, they mentioned the lack of means of transport to move around to mobilize female voters in remote areas. The Electoral Section of MONUSCO promised that the UN mission will help with this problem by providing air transport to take them at least to areas that are served by its flights.
Present at this meeting, the Provincial Executive Secretary of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) emphasized the need for women leaders to work in a synergistic way. Only if women can use common strategies, said Jean-Paul Ekpondu, will they be successful in their advocacy efforts with partners and thus do a better job at supporting women candidates for the future elections.
Recognizing the need for further discussions, the different partners (MONUSCO-CENI-Woman leaders) decided to organize other meetings between them in the weeks to come.