MANILA-- The Commission on Elections will host the 2017 General Assembly and Executive Board Meeting of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) on March 20 to 21 in Manila, Philippines, to be participated by 40 delegates from 18 countries in Asia.
During the General Assembly, the Philippines will be formally taking over as Chairperson, serving as the head of the AAEA. At the last GA held in New Delhi, India in 2014, the Philippines was elected as the Vice Chair, which shall host the succeeding GA and EBM and become the new Chair as per the AAEA Charter.
The event is guided by the theme "Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusiveness in Elections," and Philippines, India, Nepal and other countries will give presentations on their respective countries' best practices in the conduct of a gender-sensitive and socially inclusive election. At the event's Expo, member countries get to showcase their election paraphernalia as well.
"Discrimination in any form has no place in the Commission, and this philosophy is reflected in the projects and activities being pursued by our Gender and Development Committee. This event will be a good platform to propagate such an important issue," said Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, head of the GAD-Focal Point System Executive Committee.
During the May 2016 national and local elections, 51.06% or 28,052,138 registered voters are female. As of August 16, 2016, this figure increased to 28,429,511. The Commission continues to encourage women to register to vote by conducting special satellite registrations where they are prioritized and urging them to run for elective positions by holding public discussions on initiatives to increase women participation in elections with government agencies, political parties, and party-list groups. On March 8, 2017, a special satellite registration prioritizing qualified women and girls will be conducted in selected Barangays nationwide in celebration of the International Women's Day.
The AAEA is an organization consisting of election management bodies in the Asian and Australasian region. Its mission is "to provide a nonpartisan forum in Asia for the exchange of information among election authorities to discuss and act upon ways to promote open and transparent elections with the objective of supporting good governance and democracy." The organization was founded in February 1998 in Manila, a year after its Charter was passed on January 26 to 29, 1997 by the participants of the Symposium on Asian Elections in the Twenty-First Century held also in Manila, Philippines.
Source: Philippines information agency