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Promoting Burkinabe women’s equal participation in politics and governance
The Burkinabe Minister for Gender and Women Promotion, Mrs. Bibiane Ouédraogo Boni, has bemoaned the weak female presence in her country’s political life despite their numerical strength compared to men.

In an address at the opening of a national training workshop for Burkinabe women on gender and elections on Tuesday the 23rd June in the Burkinabe capital, Mrs Boni called for concrete measures to ensure women’s equal participation in politics and governance.

She however commended the Burkinabe Government’s efforts towards significant women’s representation in decision-making organs which, among others, has to do with the recent adoption of the draft bill on quotas and conditions for female candidate’s participation in legislative and municipal elections in Burkina Faso.

She thanked the ECOWAS Commission for organising this training and urged participants to make the most of the training.

“By organising this training in Burkina Faso, ECOWAS offers women a great opportunity to acquire knowledge that will encourage their participation in politics. This training is particularly timely considering the upcoming legislative and presidential elections in our country”, opined Mrs. Boni.

Subsequently, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, represented by the Commission’s Director for Gender, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, called for the active participation of participants in the workshop.

This training, she said, mainly has to do with honing women’s skills and capacities in electoral systems from a gender perspective, with a view to increasing women’s electoral and political involvement in the upcoming elections in Burkina Faso.

Similar trainings have been organised recently for women in Nigeria and Togo. Dr. Sintiki also used the opportunity to commend and thank Nigerian and Togolese women for their active participation in the trainings, while expressing the hope of Burkinabe women doing likewise. We note that other gender training programmes will soon hold in Côte d’Ivoire and in Guinea.


Participants at the training are mainly representatives of women organisations involved in electoral activities, electoral administration and the Burkinabe Ministry for Gender and Women Promotion.

The training was organised by the ECOWAS Commission, through its Gender Directorate, with the support of the Danish International Development Agency. The training comprises 24 modules with the theme “Gender and Elections, challenges and perspectives for equal representation of women and men in electoral processes”.

The training aims to promote increased women’s participation in electoral processes in the West Africa sub-region while providing participants with the tools for the critical evaluation of elections from a gender perspective. The training also intends to sensitize women on the importance of women empowerment.

The workshop further seeks to inform civil society organisations and Burkinabe women advocacy groups on strategies for promoting women’s participation in electoral processes and to create a network of women advocacy on gender and elections within the community region.

This capacity building training will focus on practical issues with modules that provide a variety of activities designed to give participants the main concepts clearly identified and to produce specific learning outcomes.

The training is committed to the development of skills and knowledge of electoral systems from a gender perspective and goes beyond bridging gaps in women advocacy as a constituted group.

The capacities will undoubtedly improve on the political commitment inculcated while strengthening support and action for increased involvement in national democratic processes at all levels.


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