Human Rights Day and Ending Violence Against Women in Elections #OnceAndForAll


IFES Nepal wears orange for the #16Days Campaign.

Joining the global community to observe and celebrate Human Rights Day, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) reaffirms its belief that the right to participate in elections and politics in any role – as voters, activists, journalists, candidates and election officials – is a fundamental human right, integral to the development and sustainability of inclusive democracy. IFES’ work is grounded in strong support for Article 21 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, which reaffirms the right of all citizens to take part in their country’s governance, to have equal access to public service and to have universal and equal suffrage.

As part of IFES’ efforts to support inclusive democratic practices, IFES recognizes the deeply destructive and globally pervasive threat that violence against women in elections (VAWE) represents. VAWE is indeed a threat to the political and human rights of women, integrity of elections and quality of democracy.

IFES has a vision of a world in which strong democratic institutions include the voices of all citizens, protect them from violence that seeks to silence them, and support them in seeking justice. We invite you to #StandUp4HumanRights with IFES in our mission to end VAWE #OnceAndForAll. 

Uniting to End Violence Against Women in Politics

Last month, IFES and the Carter Center coordinated a campaign that brought together more than 70 civil society organizations to stand in support of Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences Dubravka Šimonović’s report on violence against women in politics. The special rapporteur presented the report to the United Nations General Assembly, marking the first time the General Assembly specifically addressed the issue of violence against women in politics.

Developing a Coordinated Response to VAWE

In 2018, IFES launched a suite of tools to combat VAWE as a coordinated response across IFES’ programming toward eliminating VAWE. The suite of tools combines our work on eliminating online violence against women (VAWE Online) and efforts to end impunity for VAWE through analyzing legal issues and supporting survivors in seeking justice (VAWE Legal).

Raising Awareness on Social Media

@IFESGender is the official IFES Gender account on Twitter, which shares relevant news articles and promotes IFES’ work on gender equality. December 10 marks the end of the #16Days Campaign for Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). During the #16Days Campaign, @IFESGender participated in the #GBVchat, an annual Twitter conversation with the international development community that this year reached about six million people. In addition to the #GBVchat, IFES staff from around the world wore orange in solidarity with the #16Days Campaign, a color that represents a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls. @IFESGender also marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by sharing stories of IFES’ work to empower women with disabilities around the world.

Learn more about IFES’ work to eliminate VAWE here.

#16Days Campaign for Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

IFES HQ wears orange for the #16Days Campaign.

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