Thriving and revitalized, the city of Port-au-Prince hosted its first ever BRIDGE courses for members of the Haitian electoral management body.52 participants experienced BRIDGE for the first time during the two 5-day trainings, held back-to-back from April 15 – 26, 2013. The participants were drawn primarily from different departments of the CTCEP (Transient College of Permanent Electoral Council). They spent the five days engaged with the newly revised Gender and Elections Module.
The CTCEP has a critical task ahead of them as they seek to address the serious gender gap in political participation in Haiti. They will be leaders in the implementation of the new constitutional amendment that requires a minimum 30% quota in all areas of public life. This will be a challenge indeed: although women are the backbone of much of the economic recovery that has taken place since the earthquake, they are virtually absent from elected and appointed government positions. Furthermore, it is estimated that over 70% of Haitian women have been affected by some form of violence, often domestic. The CTCEP explored the many ways in which an EMB can make a positive impact on improving equality in their society.