Національний Демократичний Інститут оголошує конкурс проектних заявок в рамках компоненту «Підвіщення рівня видимості жінок-політикинь та розбудова коаліцій серед жінок у місцевих радах». Дедлайн - 3 лютого 2020 року.
Request for Proposals:
Raising Visibility of Women Political Leaders and Building Coalitions Among Women in Local Legislatures, 2020 - 2021
CONTEXT AND SUMMARY
Decentralization of political power and economic resources provides a historic opportunity for Ukrainian women to play a larger role in the political process. It can be an effective means to address gender equality issues and close gender gaps if designed and implemented well. Better-informed, active citizens and responsive local governments can influence national and local policy objectives and corresponding financial allocations to advance women’s political and economic agency, empowerment, and gender equality. Achieving gender equality and addressing gender-specific issues are not automatic outcomes of decentralization processes and addressing gender issues should be mainstreamed in a decentralized governance framework. Prior to decentralization, the relative lack of prestige of local office had allowed women to achieve small measures of political authority. With powers and resources being transferred to the local level – and as the prestige of local office grows – it is imperative that the institutional barriers that have negatively impacted women in national politics are not simply shifted down.
Despite the institutional barriers to women’s political participation, Ukraine’s 2019 parliamentary elections saw a significant increase in the number of women elected. There are likely to be additional opportunities for women in upcoming local elections. Regional and municipal-level contests are usually more accessible to new entrants, including women, as campaign costs are lower and voters are more receptive to less-experienced candidates. However given the deep-seated gender stereotypes, which continue to permeate the political environment, negative portrayal of women in the media, and the election framework reform with an open lists system there might be additional barriers to women in the upcoming local election.
As part of the Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) program, the National Democratic Institute (NDI or the Institute) has designed a program aimed to increase the engagement of women in local decision-making processes and promote greater inclusion in society as a whole. The program focuses on several key areas, including: providing skills-training for women leaders, educating local leaders on gender responsive budgeting processes, increasing public understanding of the benefits of women’s political participation, and building cross-party and cross-sector networks of women leaders.
In the view of upcoming local elections the Institute is planning to scale up its activities intended to maximize positive public perceptions of women in politics, minimize negative gender biases, advocate for gender equality and help establish effective, cross-party mechanisms for promoting gender equality at the local level. For this end NDI will issue four subgrants to regional CSOs to work in the target oblasts – Ternopilska and Ivano-Frankivska, Mykolayivska and Khersonska, Kirovogradska, Dnipropetrovska and Kharkivska. The local civic groups will partner with NDI in design and implementation of activities aimed at building the capacity of women leaders, formation of cross-party and cross-sector networks, promoting greater inclusion at the local level and conduct of public information and advocacy campaigns to educate voters on the benefits of women’s political participation.
Scope of Work for regional civic partners
- Public Information and Advocacy Campaigns
NDI will work with the CSOs to design and conduct public information and advocacy campaigns that promote the role of women in decentralization and highlight the impact of decentralization on women and men. This could include oblast-level public information campaigns increasing visibility of women in the media, advocating for gender equality and promoting greater inclusion in society as a whole. Regional civic groups are encouraged to avail themselves of the 50% website (https://50vidsotkiv.org.ua/), a national media platform for women, as an opportunity for increased coverage of women in decision-making and the issues they care about. Prior to the information and advocacy campaigns, NDI will provide regional civic partners with the findings of its public opinion research and the results of the work related to gender responsive budgeting in 75 consolidated communities participating in the DOBRE program.
- Forming an informal network of women leaders and coalition building
To promote greater inclusion and foster cross-party cooperation on the local level, NDI and its CSO partners will support the emergence of gender focused caucuses (GFCs) in local councils. GFCs are caucuses that bring together both male and female elected officials from different parties who are committed to increasing women’s political participation and promoting greater overall inclusion. As part of their projects, the CSO partners will both assist existing GFCs and identify CCs where officials are interested in forming GFCs. They will held meetings and workshops with parties and local councilors and provide consultations with officials to help them form caucuses and connect them with members of GFCs in neighboring communities or oblasts. In addition to this, NDI will organize an annual, national conference to bring together GFC members from multiple oblasts. NDI in cooperation with local civic partners will provide ongoing support and technical assistance, such as training on coalition building, media outreach, communication with citizens, and information on gender responsive budgeting.
- Contribution to other components of NDI’s project
In addition to the public awareness campaign and facilitating the formation of coalitions among women leaders, NDI encourages regional civic groups to contribute to other program components, which reinforce each other in achieving the overarching project goal – increasing the engagement of women in local decision-making processes and promoting greater inclusion in society as a whole.
Gender Equality Toolkit
To demonstrate tangible results gender equality can bring to Ukrainian people, NDI and its regional civic partners would help municipalities in the target oblasts and beyond conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of gender equality across a range of services and determine municipalities’ objectives, priorities, and measures to be adopted in developing action plans to achieve gender equality. Based on the principles of the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men, NDI developed a toolkit for measuring gender equality in local life, which allows local authorities to analyze existing practices, policies and services through a gender lens by asking specific ‘yes-no’ questions. If the answer is ‘no’, the program generates a list of potential actions that can be taken by local authorities to address the issue at hand. Following the assessment, local authorities receive action plans, which can be adjusted based on their priorities and available resources, and implemented once approved by local councils. NDI and its regional civic partners would assist the implementation of the action plans by providing consultations and technical support of gender initiatives envisioned by the communities’ action plans.
Combating gender stereotypes in media
To foster a political environment that is more conducive to women’s engagement in politics, particularly participating in and winning the upcoming elections, NDI and its regional civic partners would address gender biases in media, which are among the key barriers to women’s political participation. This will be done through training journalists on gender sensitive media coverage and maintaining the POVAHA website (http://povaha.org.ua/), which raises awareness and combats against the prevalence of gender stereotyping and sexism in the media.
Proposals will be evaluated through a transparent and comprehensive process based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated commitment to gender issues and women’s political participation;
- Comprehensive and strategic approach to a stated problem in the region and across the country;
- Activities proposed that lead to achievement of the project’s goals and objectives;
- Organization’s strong reputation and good relationship with partners among key stakeholders in the respective region, such as local government and media;
- Methodology and creativity shown in the proposal;
- Capacity to conduct a large-scale program including some of its elements with the partners in neighboring regions;
- Integration into overall program activities and commitment to cooperate with all program partners;
- Monitoring and evaluation plan.
The application package will be distributed upon request. Please request the application package from NDI/Ukraine at [email protected].
Please submit proposals to NDI/Ukraine at [email protected] by close of business on Monday, February 3, 2020 (early submissions welcomed). NDI will contact the applicants with the results by February 17, 2019.
In case you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Maksym Liushan at +380 067 653 07 69 or [email protected].