Christian Monsod, the former Chairman of the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC), is a pioneering figure in election administration. He reshaped electoral administration in the Philippines, focusing on building transparent processes and ensuring greater participation of traditionally marginalized populations.
So much of the conversation in Washington and in the media on Africa tends to focus on the violent and tragic events transpiring on the continent. And while there is much work to be done by African States, their citizens and the international community to advance human rights and democracy, the work that is being done by inspiring figures all over Africa is often overlooked.
On July 20, 2017, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Central Electoral Board (Junta Central Electoral [JCE]) of the Dominican Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to confirm future cooperation of the inclusion of persons with disabilities in electoral processes.
In Kenya, youth are defined in the constitution as persons between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. This demographic is a vital part of Kenyan society, making up roughly 78.3 percent of Kenya’s population. This segment of the population also falls predominantly in Living Standard Metrics (LSM) 2-8, which means that they are low on the socio-economic scale and thus often marginalized.
“Violence is an everyday reality for women running for office in Kenya – from physical and verbal abuse, public undressing and humiliation, to arson attacks. Women continue to bear the brunt of it all and this needs to change.”
In July 2009, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously decided that each year July 18 would be celebrated as Nelson Mandela International Day, commemorating the lifetime of service anti-apartheid advocate and former President of South Africa Mandela gave to South Africa and the world.
As Kenya draws close to the August 2017 elections, one area of concern has been the underrepresentation of women in the electoral process. Underrepresentation by this often-marginalized group does not only stem from the number of women that register to vote but also the lack of availability of targeted voter education.
An image of two Fulani women patiently queueing to register to vote in Nigeria’s 2015 historic elections received top honors in the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) 2015 Photography Contest. In Kwara state, where the photo was taken, people of Fulani ethnicity are a minority among the much larger Yoruba and Hausa groups.
Nigeria’s 2015 general elections marked a watershed moment in the country’s history with the first opposition candidate defeating an incumbent President in democratic elections.