#NotTheCost: Opportunities for Action

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Launched on March 17, 2016, the #NotTheCost “Call to Action” aims to foster political environments that encourages women’s participation in all aspects of democratic politics – as activists, civic leaders, voters, political party members, candidates, elected representatives and appointed officials – in their own voices and conscience, without fear of violence or the threat of reprisals, to the benefit of all of us.  As part of the “Call to Action” are the “Opportunities for Action” that are practical solutions and responses to violence against women in politics for all levels of public life. 

General (A)

  1. Develop and disseminate the concept of “violence against women in politics” to give a name to these acts and raise awareness

  2. Raise awareness of the global nature of these debates

  3. Develop indicators and collect data on the prevalence, form and impact of violence against women in politics

  4. Support networking among female politicians and civil society organizations interested in tackling this issue

  5. Provide training programs for women on how to respond to and mitigate acts of violence against women in politics

Global Institutions (B)

  1. Integrate violence against women in politics into existing international instruments on violence against women, human rights, peace and conflict and women’s rights.

  2. Facilitate information sharing on data and strategies for combating violence against women in politics between governments and/or regional based civil society groups.

  3. Place the issue on the agenda of international meetings

  4. Collaborate with global and regional organizations to exchange data, documents, experience and challenges related to violence against women in politics

  5. Engage global institutions to incorporate a focus on violence against women in politics into their work

Regional Institutions (C)

  1. Incorporate violence against women in politics into existing regional frameworks

  2. Draft a separate regional accord or declaration on ending violence against women in politics

  3. Create procedures for registering complaints and issuing punishments to the extent possible through regional mechanisms

  4. Establish regional protocols or model guidelines offering guidance to political parties and/or national parliaments in tackling the problem

  5. Facilitate information sharing on data and strategies for combating the issue among governments and/or civil society groups at the regional level

  6. Place the issue on the agenda of regional meetings

  7. Engage other regional institutions to incorporate a focus on violence against women in politics into their work

  8. Collaborate with other global and regional organizations to exchange data, documents, experiences and challenges with the goal of building on and learning from the work of other organizations

Governments (D)

  1. Conduct awareness-raising campaigns directed at political parties and voters

  2. Incorporate actions against violence against women in politics into existing laws and frameworks

  3. Create procedures for registering and handling complaints through new or existing state agencies

  4. Ensure that service providers that respond to victims of violence against women fully recognize this type of violence as well as its perpetrators, and are equipped to support victims

  5. Designate a state agency or office to serve as a primary point of contact for victims

  6. Provide training to law enforcement officials to enable them to recognize acts of violence against women in politics and take them seriously

  7. Participate in regional and global discussions on violence against women in politics.

Parliaments (E)

  1. Conduct awareness-raising campaigns directed at political parties and voters to highlight the problem

  2. Organize a national forum in parliament on violence against women in politics across the country

  3. Introduce a resolution condemning violence against women in politics in all its forms.

  4. Incorporate violence against women in politics into existing state laws and frameworks

  5. Consider legislative reforms to sanction violence against women in politics

  6. Conduct a confidential survey of parliamentarians’ experiences with electoral and political violence

  7. Establish or revise parliamentary codes of conduct to address aspects of institutional culture that create a hostile work environment

  8. Provide training for parliamentarians to raise awareness about their own conduct, which they may not realize is discriminatory toward women

  9. Participate in regional and global discussions with parliamentarians from other countries on violence against women in politics to share experiences and learn about good practices

Political Parties (F)

  1. Organize sessions at annual party assemblies to explain the issues and raise awareness among party members regarding their conduct toward female colleagues

  2. Raise the awareness of party members regarding this issue through materials distributed to party members

  3. Approve a party-level resolution condemning violence against women in politics

  4. Develop a party code of conduct for executive and rank-and-file members to prohibit sexism or bullying in meetings, as well as sexual harassment in all contexts of party work

  5. Change party statutes or policies to impose sanctions on party members who commit acts of violence against women in politics

  6. Establish a party-level body or committee responsible for working on the issue

  7. Make a public pledge, either independently or with other political parties to ensure the safety and security of women in all aspects of the electoral process

  8. Sign a cross-party declaration with other parties to define violence against women in politics as unacceptable

  9. Participate in regional and global discussions on violence against women in politics to share experiences and learn about good practices.

Civil Society (G)

  1. Organize consciousness-raising efforts with female voters, activists and candidates to introduce the concept of violence against women in politics.

  2. Build alliances with elected women at the national and local levels, developing a network of women across the country to raise awareness and build pressure for reform

  3. Provide services to victims of violence against women in politics

  4. Create scorecards for political parties rating them on the degree to which they respect the rights of women to participate as party members, leaders and elections.

Elected and Appointed Leaders (H)

  1. Respectfully share personal stories of violence against women in politics

  2. Use social media as a platform for exposing acts of violence against women in politics

  3. Confront perpetrators with evidence of their acts

  4. Participate in training and mentoring programs for women candidates

  5. Establish or participate in local, national, regional or global networks of politicians to develop shared concepts of violence against women in politics and work toward greater public awareness.

Justice & Security Sectors (I)

  1. Create protocols for responding to victims of violence against women in politics

  2. Develop procedures for registering and handling complaints

  3. Raise awareness across the justice and security sectors regarding the existence of legislation on violence against women where this exists

  4. Provide training to police officers to help them recognize and respond to complaints from victims of violence against women in politics

Electoral Observers and Authorities (J)

  1. Revise electoral management body rules and regulations to define acts of violence against women in politics

  2. Mobilize civil society actors to assist in election monitoring

  3. Create procedures for registering and handling complaints through new or existing office within EMBs

  4. Incorporate a gender perspective in electoral observation guidelines to ensure that members of international election observation missions are trained to look for acts targeting women.

Media and Digital Technologies (K)

  1. Provide Training for Journalists

  2. Partner with civil society organizations to develop mechanisms to deal with online abuse

  3. Harness social media as a tool to publicize and condemn acts of violence against women in politics

  4. Mobilize social media networks to bring pressure to bear on perpetrators of violence against women in politics.

  5. Implement and enforce clear global policies on the part of tech companies to protect the safety and privacy of data from women users who are active in politics. 

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