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Research and Advocacy on Gendered Aspects of Political Corruption

Activities

The project “inclusive Governance and Improved Security through Influencing” supported by Cordaid, was a two-year project that aimed to investigate the gendered aspects of political corruption, examine behavioural differences between male and female MPs in Afghanistan , and to answer whether the behaviours and values asserted as predisposing individuals to corrupt behaviour differ between male and female MPs. The project also aimed to determine whether there is a relationship between women in legislature and corruption in Afghanistan.

The activities for this project support the principles of UNSCR 1325 through two key approaches: (1) conducting research and providing training and support to female politicians to increase their effectiveness and promote support for women’s political participation; (2) conducting advocacy and awareness raising on issues of VAW, the importance of women’s involvement, and the daily challenges of protection and participation for women around the world and in Afghanistan with government officials and security providers. The first component consists of research on the gendered aspects of corruption, focusing on the discourses around women’s political and specifically parliamentary participation, typologies of MPs, socio-cultural context and inscribed gender roles, and the institutional effects of liberal democracy and social institutions in Afghanistan. Other activities will consist of training female MPs and Provincial Council Members to increase their accountability and build their capacity in public outreach, communications, and constituent engagement; facilitating public outreach sessions and community engagement with female MPs and Provincial Council members; and organizing documentary screenings and workshops on 1325 with government officials and security providers.

Outcomes

During the project, a research was conducted by EPD with the aim to understand gendered aspects of corrupt behaviour between male and female members of parliament and the institutional and social factors impeding women’s effective participation in political decision making. In this research, a survey was completed with 105 MPs (72 men and 33 women).  The survey comprised of four sections designed to address various explanations for gendered differences in corrupt behaviour, as well as an additional section containing demographic items. The research report later was adapted to a manual entitled ‘Women in Politics, Corruption, Communications and Public Outreach’ to be used during the trainings.

EPD also held two-rounds for future possible MPs and provincial council members across the targeted location (including Kabul, Nangarhar, Herat, Kandahar, Faryab, Bamyan and Kunduz) around 112 Future possible MPs and provincial council members including (35 male and 77 female), received training based on the manual ‘Women in Politics, Corruption, Communications and Public Outreach’. The participants were taught important skills on communication and outreach and how to build constituent relationship. EPD hopes that these trainees will build more efforts in bridging the trust gap between local people and their political representatives.

With the aim to promote  public awareness about women in politics, corruption and communication the trained future possible MPs and provincial council members with the technical support and facilitation of EPD and the provincial officers, held 3 rounds of community outreach sessions in all targeted provinces. Nearly 1566 participants including 518 male and 1048 female attended the 3 rounds of Program.   (75 participants were targeted for each round in each province)

Furthermore, the 22 minutes version of the documentary movie “Six Days” was dubbed and translated in to Dari language. This inspiring documentary, which follows three brave human rights defenders in Liberia, Abkhazia, Georgia and Iraq over six days, gives insight on to every day struggle to improve the situation of women worldwide.  Following that EPD successfully completed the “Six Days” documentary screening and a training workshop on UNSCR 1325 with government officials and security providers in 7 targeted provinces for the members of DoWA, formal justice sector, FRU, male and female police and members of Provincial council. In total 240 participants including 117 male and 123 female received this training.