Empowerment of Minority Populations

Inclusive and representative democracies provide for the full and active participation of all of their citizens irrespective of race, gender, religion or ethnic identity. The rights of ethnic and religious minorities in particular need to be guaranteed by the majority, as they are groups most often under threat in transitional and emerging democracies. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports the effort to include ethnic and religious minority participation in the political process by proposing electoral systems conducive to diverse representation in elected bodies; by promoting tolerance and awareness through education on the equal rights of ethnic and religious minorities; through targeted advice on messaging, content and methodology to providers of voter and civic education programs; by offering training and professional development modules on minority rights to stakeholders in the electoral process; and through the provision of technical assistance and encouragement for minority participation in the drafting of election legislation and the sharing of comparative experiences.