Campaigning as a woman: Promoting Equality and Participation of Women in Politics and Decision-making

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This publication is one of a series of tools and publications about women in politics supported by IWDA through the FLOW (Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women) program, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It is the result of a Candidate Debriefing Workshop conducted with women who stood for election in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville general election in May-June 2015. The workshop was organised by the Bougainville Women’s Federation and funded by International Women’s Development Agency, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, in August 2015.
The 2015 Bougainville General Election was only the third election to be held in Bougainville and represented the greatest number of women candidates ever to stand. 35 women contested, including 12 women who ran against men in open seats (the other 23 stood for the 3 seats reserved for women in the Bougainville House of Representatives). This election was the first where a woman candidate, Hon Josephine Getsi, won in an open seat, bringing women’s political representation in the House of Representatives to 10%. Several women ran strong campaigns and learned much about what it takes to succeed in an election. The 2015 Candidate Debriefing Workshop gave women candidates the opportunity to talk about their experiences during the election campaign. “Campaigning as a Woman” focuses on the areas these candidates suggested as important for women to know in order to run effective campaigns. It draws on the candidate experiences to illustrate lessons, challenges, and strategies for overcoming them. It includes comments from candidates who attended the Debriefing Workshop and case studies telling the campaign stories of five of the women candidates: Josephine Getsi, Rose Pihei, Joan Nenoari, Patricia Kapapal, Agnes Titus.