Under the framework of “Lebanese Women in Elections” initiative, the United Nations Development Programme – Lebanese Elections Assistance Project, the UN Women and “Women in Front” NGO conducted info sessions across Lebanon aiming to encourage women candidates and voters to participate in the parliamentary elections.
Eight info sessions were conducted from 24 January to 2 March, before the closing of the candidate registration on 7 March, in different regions such as: Rayfoun, Sin El Fil, Chtaura, Tripoli, Saida, Zgharta, Baakline, and Beirut.
During these sessions, the facilitators provided the participants with the needed information on how to vote and to run for elections, and tackled the following topics: new articles in the electoral law and electoral calendar, required documents to run for elections, legal framework, preprinted ballot papers, preferential vote, electoral campaign, how to include women in lists, negotiations and networking.
On 2 March, a closing event took place in Beirut at the “Young Women Christian Association” to provide a platform for women candidates to announce their agenda and political program and to share their personal experience on how they overcame the challenges faced to run for elections.
It is relevant to mention that 86 women, out of 597 total candidates, ran for the 2018 parliamentary elections and 23 of them participated in the above-mentioned info sessions. Six women made it to become members of the parliament.
UNDP LEAP is funded by EU and USAID.
The EU-funded UNDP Lebanese Elections Assistance Project (LEAP) started its activities in October 2012 with the main objective to strengthen the institutional capacity of the national institutions and stakeholders in terms of electoral management and administration, for the conduct of credible, periodical, transparent and inclusive elections in Lebanon.
To achieve these objectives, UNDP LEAP works closely with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM), responsible for electoral management, administration and overall electoral operations. The project also supports other electoral stakeholders, such as the Constitutional Council, State Council, Supervisory Commission for the Election (SCE), judicial bodies and works in close cooperation with civil society organizations (CSOs). Within this context, UNDP LEAP provides electoral technical assistance and advisory support focused on: 1) management & administration of elections; 2) supervisory commission for elections; 3) voter education; 4) electoral dispute resolution; and 5) women’s participation in elections.