Jakarta (ANTARA) - A General Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) member, Mochammad Afifuddin, has asked the government, election organizers, NGOs, and the society to work together to realize women's participation in election organizing agencies.

"What all parties must encourage is women's participation in the election organizing agencies. In Bawaslu, sometimes we had no choice, as there were no women members in (the list of names of the elected members for Bawaslu)," he said.

Afifuddin made the statement during a webinar on 'Break the Bias by Strengthening Women's Active Participation in a Just and Equal Democratic Process,’ organized by the Semarang district Bawaslu, Central Java, which was accessed online from here on Thursday.

The push for women's participation is increasingly crucial ahead of the election of Bawaslu and General Election Commission (KPU) members at the provincial and districts/cities level, according to Afifuddin.

Looking at past experiences, the fight for women's political rights in general elections has improved, he said.

For instance, he pointed out, the struggle has resulted in the issuance of regulations stipulating that at least 30 percent of KPU and Bawaslu members must be women.

Therefore, Afifuddin said, endeavors to encourage women's participation should be maintained by the entire nation through general elections agencies such as Bawaslu and KPU.

He then appealed to all Bawaslu and KPU members not to only focus on the technical issues of the elections.

He said he hoped that Bawaslu and KPU members, both at the national and provincial/district levels, will call for or emphasize the realization of women's representation, and even for equal rights of persons with disabilities in the general elections.

According to Afifuddin, if the election organizers only focus on working on the technical issues, then their work routine cannot be deemed meaningful.

"There must be values that we (the general election organizers) strive for, such as women's participation and the rights of persons with disabilities in the elections," he said.

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Translator: Tri A, Kenzu T
Editor: Sri Haryati
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