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Women essential to success of regional polls in Iraq, insists UN envoy

Category: Gender in the world 
2009-01-23

In the run-up to provincial polling across Iraq at the end of the month, the top United Nations official to the war-torn country today stressed that the full participation of women is imperative for the success of the elections.
The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) – an Iraqi organization tasked with preparing and conducting elections, starting with voting for the Governorate Councils on 31 January – has adopted regulation that gives women the maximum opportunity to gain seats in regional legislature.

“The IHEC has determined that among winning lists of three or more candidates, at least one winning candidate must be a woman among every three,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura.

“This is consistent with international best practice and, if properly applied, as we are working to see is the case, should ensure that women will have a central and important place on the newly elected councils,” added Mr. de Mistura.

The IHEC, with assistance from the UN, is also tasked with organizing parliamentary elections before the end of 2010.

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