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  • Equality Between Men and Women

    The voter registration system should be carefully tailored to ensure that cultural factors affecting women (name changes with marriage) do not result in disenfranchisement.
    • Voter Registration

      “Since women’s names and places of residence often change as a result of marriage, it is important that a system be in place to capture these changes in order not to disenfranchise newly married women. Likewise, since residency records are commonly recorded under the name of the male head of household, it is especially important in countries with passive registration systems that women dependents be included in voter registers drawn from lists of members of households Particularly in the case of affirmative registration systems, a significant issue may relate to the convenience of access to registration offices. Hours of operation, travel time, and distance to appropriate offices can be of particular concern to women, particularly for women caring for small children.”

  • Equality Between Men and Women

    Women candidates should receive equal coverage to their male counterparts.
    • The Media

      “Beyond the question of equal access, the actual quantity and quality of media coverage of women candidates have a critical influence on their public image and their electoral prospects. A key role of the media in any election is to ensure that the public has sufficient information on candidates and parties to be able to make informed choices. These factors underlie the need to assess whether women candidates are receiving a fair and unbiased share of media campaign coverage. The EOM should therefore examine such questions as whether the media promote the visibility of women candidates, whether they cultivate public acceptance of women as a normal feature of political life, and whether they present women in a manner that promotes public confidence.”

  • Equality Between Men and Women

    The state must perform both its "negative duty" to refrain from discrimination against women and its "positive duty" to prevent discrimination against women.
    • Legal Framework, Election Management, Voter Registration, Candidacy and Campaigning

      “Decisions on the choice of electoral systems are important to overcome the traditional gender bias that undermines women’s participation. Substantive progress towards the equal participation of women as candidates and voters as well as the holding of free and fair elections will not be possible unless a number of appropriate measures are taken, including a gender-responsive electoral system and the adoption of temporary special measures to enhance women’s participation as candidates, ensure a proper voter’s registration system and ensure that women voters and female political candidates are not subject to violence either by State or private actors. ”

    • Legal Framework, Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation, Election Management, Voter Registration, Voter Education, Candidacy and Campaigning, The Media, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation, Electoral Dispute Resolution

      “The obligation to fulfil requires that States parties take a wide variety of steps to ensure that women and men enjoy equal rights de jure and de facto, including, where appropriate, the adoption of temporary special measures in line with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and general recommendation No. 25 on article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, on temporary special measures. This entails obligations of means or conduct and obligations of results. States parties should consider that they have to fulfil their legal obligations to all women through designing public policies, programmes and institutional frameworks that are aimed at fulfilling the specific needs of women leading to the full development of their potential on an equal basis with men. ”

    • Legal Framework, Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation, Election Management, Voter Registration, Voter Education, Candidacy and Campaigning, The Media, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation, Electoral Dispute Resolution

      “States parties have an obligation not to cause discrimination against women through acts or omissions; they are further obliged to react actively against discrimination against women, regardless of whether such acts or omissions are perpetrated by the State or by private actors. Discrimination can occur through the failure of States to take necessary legislative measures to ensure the full realization of women’s rights, the failure to adopt national policies aimed at achieving equality between women and men and the failure to enforce relevant laws. ”

  • Equality Between Men and Women

    States should take special, temporary measures to achieve de facto equality for women.
    • Legal Framework, Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation, Election Management, Voter Education, Candidacy and Campaigning, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation, The Media, Electoral Dispute Resolution

      “States Parties shall take specific positive action to promote participative governance and the equal participation of women in the political life of their countries through affirmative action, enabling national legislation and other measures to ensure that: a) women participate without any discrimination in all elections; b) women are represented equally at all levels with men in all electoral processes; c) women are equal partners with men at all levels of development and implementation of State policies and development programmes.”

  • Equality Between Men and Women

    Election management bodies should ensure that women and marginalized groups participate in the electoral process.
    • Legal Framework, Election Management, Voter Registration

      “Decisions on the choice of electoral systems are important to overcome the traditional gender bias that undermines women’s participation. Substantive progress towards the equal participation of women as candidates and voters as well as the holding of free and fair elections will not be possible unless a number of appropriate measures are taken, including a gender-responsive electoral system and the adoption of temporary special measures to enhance women’s participation as candidates, ensure a proper voter’s registration system and ensure that women voters and female political candidates are not subject to violence either by State or private actors. ”

  • Equality Between Men and Women

    States should take special, temporary measures to achieve de facto equality for women.
    • Legal Framework, Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation, Election Management, Voter Registration, Voter Education, Candidacy and Campaigning, The Media, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation, Electoral Dispute Resolution

      “States parties have an obligation not to cause discrimination against women through acts or omissions; they are further obliged to react actively against discrimination against women, regardless of whether such acts or omissions are perpetrated by the State or by private actors. Discrimination can occur through the failure of States to take necessary legislative measures to ensure the full realization of women’s rights, the failure to adopt national policies aimed at achieving equality between women and men and the failure to enforce relevant laws. ”

    • Legal Framework, Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation, Election Management

      “Decisions on the choice of electoral systems are important to overcome the traditional gender bias that undermines women’s participation. Substantive progress towards the equal participation of women as candidates and voters as well as the holding of free and fair elections will not be possible unless a number of appropriate measures are taken, including a gender-responsive electoral system and the adoption of temporary special measures to enhance women’s participation as candidates, ensure a proper voter’s registration system and ensure that women voters and female political candidates are not subject to violence either by State or private actors. ”

  • Equality Between Men and Women

    Temporary measures to achieve de facto equality for women may include the use of quotas to ensure their participation or representation.
    • Candidacy and Campaigning, The Media, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation, Electoral Dispute Resolution

      “Decisions on the choice of electoral systems are important to overcome the traditional gender bias that undermines women’s participation. Substantive progress towards the equal participation of women as candidates and voters as well as the holding of free and fair elections will not be possible unless a number of appropriate measures are taken, including a gender-responsive electoral system and the adoption of temporary special measures to enhance women’s participation as candidates, ensure a proper voter’s registration system and ensure that women voters and female political candidates are not subject to violence either by State or private actors. ”

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Handbook for Monitoring Women's Participation in Elections

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General Recommendation No. 30 on Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post-conflict Situations

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General Recommendation No. 28 on the core obligations of States parties under article 2 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

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Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

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