On Sunday, 16th of July, 2017, the HNEC Women Empowerment Unit at the Awareness and Relations Department held its first meeting, with the attendance of Commissioner Rabab Halab and Mrs. Areeg Al-Ajeli, who is in charge of the HNEC Women Empowerment Unit, with participation of HNEC female staff and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
In her opening speech, Mrs. Halab welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of the HNEC Women Empowerment Unit, which was recently established in the HNEC. She assured that women can bear the responsibility, either inside the HNEC or among the society as voters or candidates, confirming that HNEC will continue supporting the HNEC Women Empowerment Unit through joint efforts and cooperation with international organizations.
Mrs. Halab said that the HNEC Women Empowerment Unit is a guarantee for women rights to increase its presence and participation at HNEC General Administration and Electoral Offices. Further, she explained the Unit is trying to determine the challenges facing women, trying to prevent them from holding administrative and political positions in order to address and find solutions to them. She highlighted the importance of activating the Laws that support women and their role in the society and in the democratic transformation.
Mrs. Al-Ajeli delivered a presentation on the mission of the HNEC Women Empowerment Unit and the activities to be conducted by it; in addition to the objectives the Unit tries to achieve, among which is ensuring the compliance of the HNEC internal regulations to the principle of equality between women and men; besides increasing the presence of women in HNEC electoral offices, especially in leading positions. She mentioned that there are other external objectives that will enhance women participation in elections in accordance to the concerned work plan.
The meeting has come up with some recommendations to enhance women role at HNEC. It is worth mentioning that the Women Empowerment Unit is established in cooperation with IFES, in the frame work of supporting women as voters and candidates; in addition to integrating women in all HNEC activities and raising the awareness about women participation in electoral processes.