“Empowering Voices” is the project led by One World Platform supported by Council of Europe, within the Assistance Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the local elections 2016.
One World Platform teamed up with three local organizations from Bratunac (Forum žena), Gračanica (Pokret građana Gračanica) and Bihać (Glas žene) that for three months served as local hubs for female politicians educating them on how to use social media, internet and technology to promote themselves as candidates on local elections.
Aside from promotion, one of the modules educated them on online safety, privacy, online harassment and tools and mechanisms of protection online.
Through this project, a number of issues causing the unfavorable situation of women political participation will be addressed, such as:
Women candidates do not have resources to reach out voters and do not get adequate space in mainstream media, so voters have no information on positive examples of successful women taking a role in public life and in politics (prejudice and stereotypes);
Influential figures, such as religious or political leaders, are transmitting a prejudiced message about women in politics
Many youth and women do not develop interest in local politics (campaigns do not use appropriate tools or the political discourse is too tense)
In order to address above mentioned issues, Internet is selected as the main channel of communication, having in mind that digital tools and new media technologies are transforming the way that politicians and citizens communicate, and are playing an important role in the free flow of information.