A society is able to reach its full potential in a world in which men and women are fully engaged as equal partners in their families, workplaces and communities. Based on international human rights standards and best practices, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) promotes political participation, justice and equal rights for women and men around the world.
IFES takes into account the constraints that challenge gender parity, including conflict, transitional institutional developments, socio-economics, and cultural context. This approach assumes that women and men are affected differently by these constraints and that the success of IFES' work around the world depends on understanding and addressing gender dynamics.
IFES programming aims to achieve gender equality in the electoral process by:
- Conducting gender analyses and utilizing IFES election assessment tools to integrate gender and create evidence-based programming;
- Working with field offices to providing technical advice to election management bodies and civil society organizations on how to integrate gender equality and women's empowerment activities into their work;
- Conducting women's empowerment activities to increase women's political participation as elected leaders, technical experts in elections, engaged civil society leaders and informed voters;
- Encouraging IFES staff to share effective approaches to bridging the gender gap in electoral processes;
- Prioritizing external representation to highlight innovative approaches to gender equality and women's empowerment developed by IFES; and,
- Mainstreaming gender into our programming to position IFES as an effective and valuable leader in inclusive democracy and governance.
Specifically, IFES works on a variety of different issues to work toward gender equality:
- Engaging Election Management Bodies
- Violence Against Women in Elections
- Women, Peace and Security
- "She Leads" Women’s Leadership Program
- Engaging Male Allies
- Gender and Political Finance
- Supporting Women with Disabilities
As a learning organization, IFES has an internal Knowledge Management Initiative Working Group on Gender to help grow the research, tools and technical expertise we offer our partners worldwide.