An alternative narrative on inclusive democracy and electoral accountability: ensuring women and young people’s voices matter and their votes count
True democracy includes but is not limited to respect for the basic freedoms and responsibilities, the rule of law, due process, and orderly succession. How do we move beyond mere forms and institutions of democracy to make it meaningful and inclusive to respond to the needs and desires of the ordinary people especially women and young people?
Electoral processes with widespread barriers to civil and political rights are becoming the norm globally. This is characterized by the following trends: unlimited and uncontrolled bans on protests or demonstrations against election results; internet/media shutdowns; propagation of conservative/pro status quo narratives over politics and proliferation of fake news; arbitrary detention and unfair trials of activists; harassment, intimidation, defamation, or threats to and killings of human rights defenders amongst others. Further, state capture by economic and political elites has contributed to the undermining of trust in democracy by further unbalancing the level playing field for political participation, particularly for women, young people, and other excluded groups without access to financing.
This has become too pervasive (in the North and the South) that we risk resigning to a passive feeling of helpless acceptance. However, these trends behove us to nurture a spirit of positive defiance, a readiness to confront that which is clearly wrong, and which undermines the building of a just society.
Have you used the Thematic Area in practise? To share information about a budget in a clear and simple way. South Africa and Uganda. Groups of women were.