Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) - The new face of politics, characterized by violence, slows down the momentum of women and young people in political debates, according to a study commissioned by the UNESCO Chair "Water, women and decision-making power " Ivory Coast.
The study was presented Thursday in Abidjan by Mr. Trah Siagbé, gender expert, at the opening of an exchange workshop on the participation of women and young people in political debates. The workshop, which will take place over two days, brought together around forty people.
"Fear of the new political face, characterized by violence, is pushing back women" and young people, observed Mr. Trah Siagbé, who noted that the limited number of women and young people in decision-making bodies remains a challenge.
The study underlines "the attitude of women who prefer to stay in their corner", but they need to be more daring, added Mr. Trah Siagbé, indicating that the lack of operational capacities and training in the matter, for many, explains this position.
"Very often, women need the consent of their spouse before they can participate (in political debates), and sometimes even of the family or the community," noted Professor Rose Koffi-Nevry, teacher-researcher at the 'Nangui-Abrogoua University and responsible for the training program at the Unesco Chair Water, women and decision-making power.
Ms. Rose Koffi-Nevry, who represented Ms. Euphrasie Kouassi Yao, the Special Advisor to the President of the Republic, in charge of Gender, declared that these different stereotypes and the violence that surrounds the entire electoral environment are holding back young people and women in engage in politics.
Sometimes, she continued, "women do not want their children to participate in these political debates" because of these factors, which is why the workshop was initiated to address the low participation of young people and women in elective governance.
"It is for us to be able to identify the major obstacles which hinder women and young people in political debates", because if these people do not participate in political debates, it will be difficult for them to be able to be present in the Assemblies elected.
The women will be monitored, and to do this "there will be a monitoring, planning and awareness committee as well as training which will support these women on issues until the time of the elections," she assured.
Mr. Trah Siagbé, also maintained that "women evolve in a system and they are victims of this system", and those who victimize them, they must be trained to change their vision on the concept of gender in order to give all same chances.
Reporting statements from political parties, he said that some advance arguments of "lack of courage of women, ambition and self-confidence among women, who even designated decline the offers."
Women display weak leadership in the face of patriarchal rule. Therefore, being in a patriarchal system, where there is "the preeminence and domination of men, it is necessary to develop positive masculinity".
Positive masculinity, he will explain, is the awareness for a man to serve the cause of women and of society. It aims to ensure that all men systematically transform all their resistance to the situation of women.
For several decades, Côte d'Ivoire has multiplied initiatives to reduce inequalities and disparities between the sexes in order to achieve fair and equitable development in a society where men and women enjoy equal opportunities before opportunities.
We can observe a clear progression in this fight for equal opportunities with the creation of a favorable framework and the advent of spaces for inclusive discussions, in particular the existence of women's branches in political parties (OFFPI, RFR ...).
The country records the accession of women to the leadership of certain political parties (RPC PAIX, URD, RDP) to which are added, one female candidacy for the 2010 presidential election, two for that of 2015 and a record record of 452 candidates for the legislative elections of 2021 against 328 in 2016 and 105 in 2011.
Despite these advances, the representativeness of women in the decision-making bodies of political parties continues to be a challenge. The figures refer to 12.59% of women in the National Assembly, 19.2% in the Senate and 11.37 in municipal councils.
Faced with the low scores observed, several African countries are pooling their efforts to advance the representation and political participation of women and young people in Africa. This workshop was organized in collaboration with Women political participation (WPP), whose coordinator, the Senegalese Fatou Sarr, was present at this session.
To correct this disparity at the political level in Africa, the WPP program in partnership with the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa (IFAN), the caucus of Women Leaders of Senegal and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) has been initiated in eight African countries.
In Ivory Coast, this mission is led by the UNESCO Chair in Water, Women and Decision-making Power, which works in support of the government's efforts to strengthen the visibility, participation and leadership of women in order to improve their role in the management of decisions. public and private affairs through the Compendium of Women's Skills program.
The workshop brought together around forty people from political parties, the public sector, women from the Compendium of Women's Competences, the UNESCO Chair "Water, Women and Decision-making Power" and partners from the Senegalese Women Leaders Caucus.
AP / ls
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