Society’s perceptions of role of women in politics have worsened, findings

The society’s perceptions of the role of women in politics and decision making worsened in 2023. A higher number of respondents consider that women should not become involved in politics and that they are less capable of holding administrative posts. More persons believe that persons with disabilities or Roma persons should not sit on district councils. This is a worrisome tendency, said specialist in advocacy, civic lobby and communication Alina Andronache, project coordinator at the Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD). She noted that complex discussions on such issues should be held as this shows that the legislative success in terms of gender equality doesn’t change society’s perceptions.

Alina Andronache noted that the CPD monitored the elections from the gender perceptive. “For us, it was very important to see how gender representation is observed at mayor’s offices and in councils and, what is more important, to see what the people think and what the people’s perceptions of the role of women and men in the public space and in the election process are,” the specialist stated in a news conference at IPN in which the Declaration of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections on the November 5 and November 19, 2023 local elections was presented.

“We have yet a lot to do to fight perceptions as we can have very good laws and can have particular stimuli and legislative measures that promote gender representation, but these will not work if the people do not change their perceptions and view on the role of women and men in the public space and in administrative posts,” said Alina Andronache.

The number of female candidates for mayor and of women elected mayors increased insignificantly. This tendency has persisted at the last four electoral exercises, but slow progress has been made. The number of female candidates elected to local councils grew owing to the double quota system (40% representation quota and listing provisions). “We ascertained that the most serious impediment to the implementation of the quota was experienced at the level of local councils, especially in localities in which the local councils have 9, 7, 11 members,” stated the expert.

The persons with disabilities faced physical and media format barriers. Over 60% of the polling stations were inaccessible. The TV channels that broadcast electoral debates either didn’t ensure sign-language interpretation or didn’t comply with the Audiovisual Council’s decision and didn’t show the face and hands of the sign-language interpreter in proportion of at least 1/3 of the screen. During the election campaign, electoral meetings with and for persons with intellectual disabilities weren’t staged in residential institutions and in other community centers.

Note: IPN News Agency offers the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements made by the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

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