UNDP and UN Women leading efforts to prevent and reduce violence against women in elections

September 19, 2023

Under the motto "Elections YES, Violence against women NO!", UNDP Democracy and Elections project, UN Women and some CSOs brought together today, in Maputo, over 100 pivotal figures in the electoral process (political party leaders, NGOs working in favour of women's rights, the police, female candidates from different political parties, as well as young gender activists) to share, discuss and plan the best ways to prevent and mitigate violence against women in elections (VAWE).

Group photo

UNDP/Rochan Kadariya

The opening of the seminar was presided by the President of the Elections Commission, the Ambassador of Spain, representatives from the Norwegian Embassy and the Canadian High Commission as well as the UN Women Country Representative and  UNDP's CTA for Democracy and Elections.

The participants underscored the imperative need for extensive awareness campaigns targeting violence against women in elections. These campaigns would serve to educate the public on methods for preventing and mitigating such violence. "We recommend carrying out a gender audit of the municipal elections on 11 October 2023, as well as mass awareness campaigns on violence against women in elections and ways to prevent and mitigate this type of violence", read one of the participants in the summary of the event.

Despite the growing numbers, challenges remain

Women's participation in politics and electoral processes, whether as voters, candidates, civic educators or political leaders, has never been as high as it is today. United Nations data indicates that in 2018, globally, more than 10,000 women were national parliamentarians; millions of women held leadership positions at provincial level; and an increasing number of women voted, stood as candidates and actively participated in electoral management around the world.

Similarly, in Mozambique, statistics released by STAE indicate a similar trend since 1994 - when the first general and multiparty elections were held in the country. As an example, the 2019 voter registration data released by STAE showed that a higher percentage of registered voters were women compared to men.

Conference room with all participants

UNDP/Rochan Kadariya

Notes to editors:

About UNDP: 

  • UNDP works in 170 countries and territories with the aim of eradicating poverty and reducing inequality. We help countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnerships, institutional capacities and build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work focuses on three main areas: sustainable development, democratic governance and peacebuilding, and resilience to climate change and disasters.
  • UNDP's mission and vision: UNDP's mandate is to eradicate poverty, promote democratic governance, the rule of law and inclusive institutions. We advocate for change and connect countries with the knowledge, experience and resources needed to help people build a better life.

About the project:

  • Since the first multiparty elections, UNDP has worked closely with Mozambique's electoral and justice bodies, contributing to the consolidation of peace, transparency and effectiveness of electoral processes. Through its Strategic Plan, UNDP underlines the importance of consolidating and strengthening democratic processes and institutional practice in Mozambique. Fundamental to these objectives is the involvement of citizens as key stakeholders in the governance and administration of Mozambique, with the aim of achieving full adherence to the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
  • "Strengthening Democracy and Electoral Processes in Mozambique" is a four-year UNDP project designed to strengthen the democratic and electoral system in Mozambique and builds on previous electoral support and lessons learned as the country enters its electoral cycle, including the run-up to the 2023 Local Elections and the 2024 General Elections.
  • The UNDP Democracy and Elections project is developed based on the formal request of the Government of Mozambique, the recommendation of the Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) conducted by the United Nations in April 2021, the reports of international election observers on the 2019 elections and is aligned with the UNDP Country Programme Document (PCD) and the Government of Mozambique's Five-Year Plan 2020-2024 (Government Five-Year Programme,  PQG).

Representatives of CNE, UNDP, Canada, Spain and Norway embassies in Mozambique

UNDP/Rochan Kadariya

For more information:

Andres Castillo. Tel +258 850751959, andres.castillo@undp.org - CTA, Democracy and Elections Project 
Rochan Kadariya.  Tel. +258 842776492, rochan.kadariya@undp.org – Digital Electoral Solutions Specialist
Mateus Fotine. Tel. +258 879880203, mateus.fotine@undp.org -  Information and External Relations Officer