New Tools for Disability-Inclusive Elections in Liberia
In July 2017, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), working closely with the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) Gender Section, developed new tools to enhance the engagement of persons with disabilities in political life.
A new guidebook, “How to Include Women with Disabilities: A Guide for the Electoral Process in Liberia,” collects good practices of the NEC Gender Section to include women with disabilities, as well as guidance for making gender-focused and disability-focused activities and programming throughout the electoral cycle inclusive.
Additional activities in July included the development of a one-pager on inclusive complaint mechanisms, a presentation of the draft NEC Guidelines for Disability-Inclusive Elections in Liberia, and the development of voter education messages to target participation of persons with disabilities in elections. IFES Inclusion Officer Rebecca Aaberg, in collaboration with the NEC Gender Section, also led a training of the Gender Task Force on August 1, on barriers to persons who experience multiple forms of marginalization and making voter education and outreach accessible to persons with all types of disabilities.
In August 2017, the NEC Gender Section conducted a series of consultations with disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) in counties across Liberia. Using a facilitation guide developed with IFES, the NEC Gender Section empowered advocates with disabilities to participate in the October 2017 elections and collect information on barriers during the voter registration period and as leaders in political life.
The practical steps taken by the NEC Gender Section, with IFES’ assistance, to support the meaningful participation of Liberian women and men with disabilities have built on previous IFES interventions in December 2016 and February 2017.