Votes Without Violence: A Citizen Observer's Guide to Addressing Violence Against Women in Elections

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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Electoral violence subverts basic standards for democratic elections, which are a cornerstone of democratic governance. Violence against women in elections is a particular form of electoral violence, motivated by a desire to prevent women as women from participating in the electoral process, and which sees women attacked for daring to enter or participate in elections. 

For nearly three decades, NDI has worked with local nonpartisan citizen election observers around the world to mitigate violence and encourage peace. Observers play a crucial role in forecasting, monitoring, mitigating and mediating political conflict—including violence against women. The Votes Without Violence toolkit has been developed from NDI's collaboration with citizen observer groups around the world. It includes guidance and a set of practical tools and resources that can be used directly by observers and practitioners to monitor and mitigate electoral violence against women effectively.

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How to Use This Toolkit:

The toolkit has two parts. The manual linked above presents the overall guidance that is essential for understanding and undertaking a gender-sensitive observation to monitor and mitigate violence against women in elections. 

Each section of the manual contains a toolbox, with links to a set of detailed tools and resources that provide more detail on specific aspects of violence and the observation proccess. Readers can click through the links in the toolboxes to access each of the resources for a chapter. 

For quick reference, a complete index of the tools for each chapter can be found here:

The toolkit was created and refined through extensive pilot programming, implemented and integrated into observations in Côte d'Ivoire, Myanmar, Guatemala, Tanzania and Nigeria. Check out the video below to see a representative from Acción Ciudadana, NDI's partner organization for the project in Guatemala, discuss their experience with the Votes Without Violence toolkit and methodology: 


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