As the continuation of a series of events dedicated to increasing women’s political participation, an online discussion on “Women’s participation in elections from the perspective of international observation” was held on August 27, 2020, the discussion can be found on Facebook. The discussion was conducted by Mr. Alexander Shlyk, Head of the Election Department at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
During the discussion, Mr. Alexander Shlyk shared the experience of international observation with the participants of the online discussion, he mentioned that
“All OSCE participating states recognize that equality between women and men is an essential element of a just and democratic society. Gender issues have an impact on all aspects of the electoral process and are therefore an integral part of the work of the election observation mission”.
The participants were active during the discussion and shared their arguments on why few women go into politics. During the event, one female participant noted: “The experience of Kyrgyzstan makes one believe that changes in consciousness and understanding of the importance of the gender balance and political participation of women are slow among the male population. Unfortunately, internal democracy and the position of leaders / men prove it".
The participants also had a heated discussion that women are less active in the media and do not have enough resources for their own promotion, which somehow affects their popularity and reputation, resulting in their unwillingness to be nominated or go into politics, let alone the domestic responsibilities that are perceived by women as basic ones.
This event is organized within the framework of the Kyrgyz Republic Election Assistance Program implemented by UNDP with the support of the governments of Switzerland, Japan and Germany. The Program aims to assist the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda of the Kyrgyz Republic in building its capacity to support local and parliamentary elections in 2020-2021 with the use of technologies. This equipment will help ensure the sustainable use of the biometric voter identification model and to support other factors contributing to free, fair, credible and transparent elections, including the empowerment of women as voters and eligible candidates.
Mr. Alexander Shlyk is the head of the Election Department of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Mr. Shlyk has been working for ODIHR since 2010. Along with many other countries, Mr. Alexander Shlyk also visited Kyrgyzstan in 2017 in response to an invitation by the CEC to send OSCE observers to the presidential elections. He also led the ODIHR mission to Uzbekistan during the 2016 presidential elections. Alexander’s rich experience will make the presentation for the Kyrgyz participants very interesting and useful.