Sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Region Grand Est

20 November 2018 - 9.30-11.30 - ROOM 9 - Interpretation: FR/EN

Quotas have been established around the world to ensure that women candidates can run in elections – what’s the right design? What are the structural barriers that hinder women from running in elections? How can we fight against these barriers? Does gender parity in terms of positions mean women have 50% of power?

initiative 1

Life VOTE Mascote, ACT for SOCIETY Centre, Albania

Today, patriarchal culture in Albanian society still restricts women’s ability to vote. Especially in rural areas, women are excluded from decision-making within the family, which is solely reserved for men by tradition. That is why young women in rural areas do often pass on their electoral documents to their father, who fills it in on their behalf. Family voting is incrusted in family tradition, hindering women’s influence on the political scene. To draw attention to the problem, animators from the ACT for SOCIETY Centre created mascots and send them to weekly ’bazars’. Using a “Vote House” in order to engage the community to vote in the ‘symbolic voting box’, the animators try to engage with market visitors on the issue of family voting. The Project reached in total more than 18000 persons with the ultimate objective to increase women’s representation in political decision-making.


MUCO Franceska

Françeska MUÇO

Act for Society Centre


Ms Françeska Muço is from Albania. From more than five years she is a civil society activist. Her engagement dates since an early age, when she has been involved in various cultural-social activities, designing and implementing several projects and advocacy campaign related to education, gender equality and youth in decision-making. Actually she works as project coordinator at UET Centre, an organization affiliated at European University of Tirana. Also she is a member of the: Youth Advisory Board of Tirana Municipality, “UN Women Albania Civil Society Advisory Group” and board member at the "National Youth Congress" (umbrella organisation of 100 organizations from whole Albania).

initiative 2

Women Democratic Leaders, Church Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), India

In rural India, women are often excluded from political decision-making, especially when they belong to the lower ‘caste’ still in place in the indian society. This makes it for them extremely difficult to raise their voices and to show their competences to handle daily challenges in society. Therefore, the initiative by the Church Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) aims to encourage women to participate in the local self-governance system (the so-called“Panchayat Raj System”), by including them in daily decision processes. CASA’s projects cover three objectives: increasing women’s power in politics, in the economy – with a focus on women’s contributions in the agricultural sector – and lastly, to combat violence against women.




Project Officer, Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA)


Dr. Joycia Thorat, is the project & Policy Officer at Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, India since 2001. Currently Co-Chair of Advisory Group on Advocacy and former chair of Capacity Development Initiative of Act Alliance, Geneva. Awarded Doctoral Degree in Criminology –Psychology on the topic “Gender differences, leadership style and contribution to social justice: A study of global ecumenical leaders”. Worked, presented papers and published articles on gender, food security, climate change, and peace building with focus on women, tribal and dalit. Represented CASA in many national and international meetings.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.



Program Coordinator of the program “Women Leaders of Tomorrow” for the Middle East and North Africa region and Euromed of the Belgian association AIM (Actions in the Mediterranean)

Passionate about issues related to human rights and democracy, Aicha Ayari is a Program Coordinator, especially of the flagship program “Women Leaders of Tomorrow” for the Middle East and North Africa region and Euromed for the Belgian association AIM (Actions in the Mediterranean). After a university degree in political science and development cooperation, she worked for the European Parliament and for Oxfam.



Attorney at Law at the Paris Bar


Sylvia Cleff Le Divellec, LL.M is a German/French Attorney at Law at the Paris Bar. she is a trainer and mediator and co-founded ELAGE, a consulting firm specialized in equality law and inclusion strategies in Paris. Since 2014, she has been coordinating the European Women Shareholders Demand Gender Equality project for France and is involved in three professional networks of women lawyers (Deutscher Juristinnenbund- Regionalgruppe Paris, European Women Lawyers Association and the Association Française des Femmes Juristes). She is a lecturer in German and comparative law at various French and German universities.



Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities


Dusica Davidovic is a member of the Serbian delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, and a member of the Current Affairs Committee. In the city of Nis, Serbia, she is President of the City committee of her political party, member of the City Assembly and President of the Committee on Mandate Immunity Issues. She is active in the fight against sexual exploitation and violence against children and on the rights of people with disabilities. She opened the first regional "safe house" for women and children victims of domestic violence.



Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

United Kingdom

Bryony Rudkin is a member of the delegation of United Kingdom to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Deputy Leader of Ipswich Borough Council in the UK’s East of England, Bryony Rudkin has been a locally elected councillor for over 20 years. In that time she has been Leader of a County Council, a board member of the East of England Development Agency. For the past 16 years she has worked on improvement and development for the Local Government Association of England and Wales, offering support and training to local authorities throughout the UK and beyond. Bryony is currently studying for a PhD at the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham.

YVON Christopher

Christopher YVON

Ambassador, UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe

United Kingdom



Secretariat of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

LAB 1 - What if she runs? Better representation through higher female participation in elections
Palais de l'Europe - Room 9 20 November 2018 - 9.30-11.30
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