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Diplomacy in Action

The Asia Foundation - Pakistan


Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
November 12, 2009

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Date: 11/12/2009 Description: A program-funded training session, with a banner depicting a women's voting booth.   © Photo courtesy of The Asia Foundation Prior to the parliamentary elections in February 2008, The Asia Foundation worked with a network of local Pakistani civil society organizations (FAFEN) to implement an extensive civic education campaign for women, particularly in the remote areas of FATA and the North West Frontier Province. The Asia Foundation and FAFEN held more than 150 meetings with provincial and local representatives of the Election Commission to discuss policies that mitigate gender-based discrimination and harassment; met with 1,100 religious leaders via a series of dialogues to discuss alternative interpretations of Islamic law and develop the dialogues into a Date: 11/12/2009 Description: A"Meet the Candidates Forum" for women.   © Photo courtesy of The Asia Foundation.documentary style television program; and implemented a massive visual communication and outreach campaign on civil rights and voting procedures in local languages. The organizations distributed more than 500,000 materials, geared specifically towards women, prior to the election. From data collected through its extensive domestic monitoring program, The Asia Foundation and FAFEN conducted the first parallel vote tabulation exercise in the country and the largest in the world. Following the election, they compiled a comprehensive, first of its kind, report highlighting practices at women’s voting stations and presented policy recommendations for future elections.



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