Chad: Encourage women’s contribution to the political transition

Press release
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Abigail Gérard

In N’Djaména, on 11 and 12 March 2022, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Chadian League for Human Rights (LTDH) and the Comité de suivi de l’appel à la paix et à la réconciliation (CSAPR) held a workshop to train women civil society leaders and share ideas on the participation of women in democratic governance. The workshop was held at the Hotel La Tchadienne within the framework of the "My Voice Counts 2" project, supported by the European Union.

In order to contribute to the consolidation of peace and skills in living together and to the promotion and protection of human rights during the transitional period in Chad, our organisations called on Bintou Founé Samaké Bouaré, President of Wildaf Mali (Women’s Rights and Development in Africa) and Delphine Kemneloum Djiraibé, a lawyer and co-founder of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (ATPDH), an FIDH member organisation in Chad. The aim of the workshop was to train the participants in advocacy techniques and militant solidarity strategies. Discussions helped identify structural barriers that explain the very low participation and representation of women in local and national governance in Chad. It was also an opportunity to prepare tangible recommendations and courses of action to strengthen women’s participation and recognition of women’s rights in the current transition process.

"In addition to illiteracy, early and/or forced marriages and the economic dependence of women, we have to face the lack of knowledge of the laws promoting our rights."

Marie T. (pseudonym)

After 30 years in power, President Idriss Déby Itno died in April 2021. A transitional military council (TMC) led by his son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, was established and on 21 April 2021, the TMC unilaterally adopted a transitional charter without however consulting the civil society. The charter included an 18-month roadmap that made provisions for an inclusive national dialogue (DNI) that would lead to transparent, free and credible elections, and a commitment to return to civilian rule. The "pre-dialogue" between the political-military side and the Chadian government opened in Doha on Sunday 13 March 2022, but there was a notable shortage of women at the negotiating table.

Our organisations call on all stakeholders to ensure the comprehensive and effective participation of the civil society in the ongoing political dialogue and urges them to pay special attention to ensuring the representation of women and challenges related to the promotion and protection of women during these discussions.

"Because of socio-cultural obligations and tradition, women are afraid of being stigmatized. When they enter politics, their positions are ignored."

Aminata B. (pseudonym)

At the end of the two-day workshop, the participants, all female, made the following recommendations:

Recommendations by the women’s workshop on democratic, inclusive governance in Chad (My Voice Counts 2)

We urge the Chadian transition government to: include women of the civil society in the inclusive national dialogue;
 adopt the persons and family code;
 guarantee parity in nominative and elective functions in the Republic of Chad and at regional level;
 guarantee the application of national and international texts that support women’s rights, in accordance with the obligations of the Chadian State.

We urge the partner organisations to this event, namely CSAPR and LTDH as well as and other international partners, to:
 support the networking of women in civil society in Chad;
 continue capacity building of women and women’s organisations;
 promote the application of Ordinance No. 012/PR/2018 of 22 May 2018 instituting parity in nominative and elective functions in the Republic of Chad at community level.

We urge the European Union to further support Chadian women’s projects, particularly in the context of good governance and the promotion of democracy in Chad.

We, the participants to this workshop of women civil society leaders in Chad, commit ourselves to:
 capitalise the knowledge acquired during this training session;
  disseminate this knowledge and thoughts enriched during this workshop to our communities;
 implement the strategies and collective ideas resulting from this training session.

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