Election Commission uses artificial intelligence to enhance women's participation in electoral processes

August 8, 2022

Overview of the participants during the training session

UNDP Libya/ Malek Almoghrabi

Tripoli, 08/August/2022 – At its headquarters in Tripoli, The High National Election Commission (HNEC) launched the first training in Libya to learn how to monitor online violence against women in elections (VAWE)

With support from the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the trainees will learn about the online experiences of women in public life allowing HNEC to create strategies to increase women participation in elections. Women account for half of the population and have the legal and human right to participate in determining the nation’s leadership. Nonetheless, they remain under-represented in Parliament, among candidates, voters, and in the media. Gender disparity in public life has been attributed to exclusionary practices, societal deterrents, and physical/psychological violence – including online.

To enhance women participation in electoral processes in Libya, UNDP and UNSMIL, support HNEC with developing strategies, establishing procedures and implementing activities that reach out specifically to women. With IT tools, HNEC will gather quantifiable data to understand the causes of harassment and violence and identify solutions

Until August 9th, HNEC is leading the training of media monitors to use eMonitor+, a digital platform developed by UNDP’s Regional Bureau of Arab States specifically designed to monitor digital media platforms using artificial intelligence tools.

A team of experts from UNDP including the creators of the platform are conducting the training.

During the opening, HNEC Commissioner Rabab Halab underscored that the findings of eMonitor+ "will help the HNEC Women's Support Unit to identify demographic and geographic areas where electoral awareness can be raises and can ultimately contribute to more gender-balanced electoral participation."

In a message delivered at the opening of the first training session, Nancy Bergeron, Canadian Embassy Chargé d'Affaires emphasized that "Women's equal participation in political life, and the elimination of all forms of violence against them are critical to stability and democracy." "Monitors can help cultivate an environment in which people can share ideas and opinions, have constructive discussions, and affect positive movement towards an inclusive electoral process in Libya," She explained.

UNDP and UNSMIL work with HNEC towards greater inclusivity as a core tenet of democratic processes, enhancing the credibility of elections and accountability of elected leaders. Supported by Canada, the Czech Republic, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, UNDP’s ’Promoting Elections for the People of Libya’ initiative boost the capacity of HNEC to prepare and conduct elections that are credible, transparent, and inclusive.

Note to editor:

eMonitor+ is a platform that helps scan online media posts to identify, electoral violations, misinformation, hate speech, political polarization and pluralism, and online violence against women. Such data analysis enables election commissions and media stakeholders to observe the prevalence, nature and impact of online violence. This platform is already being used in Electoral Commissions in Tunisia and Lebanon and works in four languages, Arabic, English, French, Spanish. It relies on machine learning to track and analyze the content on digital media to generate graphical representations for data visualization.