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Helping Ensure Women, Youth and People with Disabilities participation in the Electoral Process
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Helping Ensure Women, Youth and People with Disabilities participation in the Electoral Process
UNDP, through its project "Moving Forward on Gender: Empowerment and Protection", is helping ensure the participation of women, youth and people with disabilities (PWDs) in the country's first nationwide parliamentary elections in 2008.

In collaboration with the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), UNDP has provided support to build the capacity of a Core Team of Trainers in creating awareness on the importance and necessity to involve women, youth and PWDs in the electoral process.

The Core Team, constituted by the NCWC and comprising of representatives from organisations with institutional responsibilities for these target groups, is now involved in various education and social mobilization activities that the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) is currently undertaking to prepare the Bhutanese people for the elections. To help broaden its outreach, a training manual has been developed by the Core Team and incorporated into the ECB's Bhutan Electoral Education Training Strategy (BEETS).

The ECB-NCWC collaboration is a good example of coordination between two autonomous agencies to expand the effectiveness of the ECB's BEETS towards targeting the participation of women, youth and PWDs and in working towards a common vision of free and fair elections. In addition to emphasizing their rights and responsibilities during elections, this collaboration so far has brought to the forefront issues affecting women, youth and PWDs and stressed on the need to address these in the manifestos of the potential political parties. It has also recommended possible affirmative actions that may be implemented to enhance the participation of and benefit for the target population groups. The meaningful participation of women, youth and PWDs as voters, advocates, activists, political parties' members and candidates during the elections are key indicators for a successful transparent and accountable democratic government.
Source: UNDP Bhutan - United Nations Development Programme, January 2007
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Bhutan Government Election Commission
UNDP Bhutan
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