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[Comment posted by iKNOW Politics on behalf of International IDEA]

International IDEA is committed to ensuring that gender equality is integrated in democracy building. As a cross cutting dimension of democracy, gender is addressed through two complementary and critical approaches; gender mainstreaming and women's political empowerment. Through the global programme on Democracy and Gender as well as the Regional Programmes in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, we support knowledge transfer and capacity building on gender equality and women's empowerment in electoral processes, political parties, constitution building processes, state of democracy assessments and democracy and development processes.

Also, International IDEA commenced working with Parliament in 2014 through consultations with various parliamentary committees and with the Parliamentary Centre, Canada. As a first initiative to strengthen engagement amongst current female legislators, International IDEA in partnership with the Parliamentary Centre, Canada, held a workshop in September 2014 on ‘Strategies for Women Legislators to Succeed’.

In addition, International IDEA is working in partnership with the Parliamentary Centre since mid-March 2015 to build the capacity of the Union Parliament’s Public Accounts Committees as well as the Planning and Financial Development Committees to fulfil their parliamentary oversight roles in the budget process more effectively. Furthermore, a needs-assessment survey will be conducted among this historic cohort of parliamentarians, which is the first in many years, to inform the further development of the institution as well as the orientation programme for the next group of parliamentarians after the anticipated 2015 elections.

According to Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu, International IDEA’s Democracy & Gender Senior Programme Manager, “In line with the Parliaments’ mandates and functions on representation, law-making and oversight, parliaments have an obligation to ensure the achievement of gender equality in all spheres of life. As democracy is supposed to transform gender inequalities, the parliamentary oversight role on gender equality is a key aspect of modern parliaments and a fundamental contribution for the achievement of sustainable democratic processes and practices.”

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