Around the globe people are disaffected with politics and political parties continue to be the least popular political institution. NDI' s new political party framework "Reflect, Reform, Re-engage: A Blueprint for 21st Century Parties" indicates that inclusion is one of the top three things voters want political parties to pay more attention to. Political parties have traditionally been important spring boards for women's political participation, but they are not always safe spaces for the women within their ranks. NDI is working on an assessment tool that brings together our new guidance on political parties and our commitment to stopping violence against women in politics. Over the next few months through a series of blog posts about our four country pilots, we will introduce the issues and the methodology that will enable political parties to state that they are "No Party to Violence."

No Party to Violence: An Assessment from Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, as we have found in many other places around the world, violence against women in politics has long been hidden, unknown, unrecognized, ignored or considered part of the "normal" practice of politics or as the "cost of politics." This is true for women across political sectors, including as voters, candidates, activists and elected or appointed officials. While political parties in Côte d’Ivoire serve as critical pathways for women’s political participation and engagement, including for young or new politicians, they continue to be male-dominated institutions, which allows and enables violence against women in their ranks. Because women believe that speaking out will at best have no real impact, and at worst make their situations worse, the violence women face within political parties has also gone largely unreported.

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Shining a Light on Violence Against Women Within Political Parties

While research indicates that there has been progress regarding women in politics and female candidates – the international average of women in parliaments nearly doubled from 1995 to 2015 – significant barriers to women’s engagement in politics, and within parties more specifically, remain. Violence against women is one of the highest barriers.

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