Friday, October 3, 2008


Dili-Timor Leste/Rede Feto 2008

Involvement in KOMEG (Koligasaun Monitorisaun Eleisaun Geral/Coalition for the Monitoring of General Elections)

Rede Feto through its member Caucus: Feto Iha Politica represents Rede Feto as member of the Board of KOMEG, a coalition of NGOs and other organizations to monitor the presidential and parliamentarian elections. As a member of the Board, Caucus: Feto Iha Politica participates in its role and function ensuring the Executive Body of KOMEG in performing its work in support to the elections effectively and efficiently. Caucus also provided training on how to use the election check list and observe the processes involved in the two elections.

The results of the monitoring activities carried out by KOMEG was published and distributed to all stakeholders. The National Commission for Election (CNE) and KOMEG recommended some gaps during the April 2007 presidential election that needed improvement for the legislative election in June 2007. The key recommendations included: for the status of the Technical Secretariat for Administration of Election (STAE) to be independent, government officials should not use public properties for election campaign and for civic education to be endorsed as part of the curriculum to ensure in-depth understanding of the electoral processes.

Public debate during the presidential election

Rede Feto, OPE, UNFPA and UNIFEM organized a coordinated public debate during the presidential election on the topics such as; international relations, the security sector reform, gender-based violence (GBV) and women’s participation in the political arena first week of April 2007. The debate was directly broadcasted on television through TVTL and over the radio. The eight presidential candidates were present at the debate and were able to share their opinions on the questions raised in relation to the abovementioned topics. The public debate was moderated by the Director of Dili Institute of Technology (DIT), Joao Cancio Freitas, PhD. During the debate, the eight candidates shared their plans on how to promote women’s rights if one of them will be elected as president of RDTL. Currently, the elected president, H.E. Jose Ramos-Horta has put forward his plan to encourage women’s participation in decision making. Rede Feto continues to monitor and plans to hold a regular dialogue with the current president to ensure that the president fulfills his commitment to support women.

Public debate among political parties

Rede Feto, the Office of the Ombudsman and the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) conducted a public debate on political parties on the issues of good governance, human rights and security. Fokupers, one of the members of Rede Feto represented the network and was involved in the panel debate. The debate was directly broadcasted on television (TVTL) and over the radio. During the debate, Fokupers presented a number of cases where most women are victims of human rights violation and issues related on how political parties integrate women into their programmes and find solutions or describe the interventions on how they will implement them if ever they win in the next parliamentary election on 30 June 2007.

Public debate with women’s candidates from political parties

Rede Feto, the National University, UNFPA and UNIFEM conducted a public debate with women’s candidates from 14 registered political parties to discuss women’s issues such as: approval of the Domestic Violence Law, elimination of the patriarchal system and polygamy issues, increasing women’s leadership and participation in the political arena. Highlighted with the women from political parties during was the finalization and approval of the Women’s Platform of Action that contained seven areas of concerns including women in education, economy, health, politics, justice and security, culture and media. The debate was directly broadcasted through radio Timor-Leste and the issues in the platform were continuously raised during the campaign for the 2007 legislative election.

Rede Feto representation at the National Electoral Commission (CNE)

Two members of Rede Feto namely: Fokupers and Caucus: Feto Iha Politica represented Rede Feto at the National Electoral Commission (CNE). The mandate of CNE stands for six years to monitor and supervise the process of the presidential and legislative elections and to prepare for the 2009 village or suco and municipal elections following the approval of the Decentralization Law. From the two members, one is a permanent member whilst the other is as supplementary member. Integral part of their responsibility is to ensure that the gender perspective is integrated in all processes of the elections. For example, the electoral law states that, “one out of every four candidates that are nominated must be female”. The CNE members were able to ensure that all the lists of candidates submitted by the political parties nominated one female candidate for every list of 4 candidates. With political parties that did not follow the law, the CNE returned the list back to the concerned political parties for their review to enable them to be guided by the law as approved. CNE had the authority to approve or not approve the lists submitted.

Provided recommendations to the National Parliament on the Amnesty and Pardon Law

In January, the National Parliament invited Rede Feto to provide its comments and recommendations on the draft Law of Amnesty and Pardon that was prepared by the National Parliament. Rede Feto organized several discussions with its members and provided the appropriate and important comments and views that have to be considered. In addition to the comments submitted to Commission A of the National Parliament, Rede Feto also submitted a written report to ensure that they are considered in the final version of the law.

The focus of the comments to the draft law was on the negative impact of certain provisions in the law towards women and children who become victims and survivors of gender-based violence. After obtaining all comments from civil society organizations and religious groups, the National Parliament decided to pass the law but unfortunately in the end, did not as well consider all the inputs that were earlier submitted. It was realized that this law was drafted by the majority members of the ruling party in the National Parliament and its initial intention was to protect the “author” of the crisis in 2006 which involved one of the former minister of the previous government. The law has now been submitted to the Office of the President for promulgation after it was forwarded to the law to Court of Appeal for review.

One-day Conference on Media and Women

Rede Feto, UNMIT and UNIFEM organized a one-day conference on Media and Women on June 9, held a the conference hall of the Salesian Congregation at Comoro, Dili, The 100 participants during the conference were composed of representatives from women’s organization, journalists and the 14 political parties, members of the National Electoral Commission (CNE). The conference ended with a set of recommendations for the media to intensively write and broadcast women’s issues so that the population will be aware of women issues and promote women’s rights in their daily lives.

Television debate on the processes of the presidential and legislative elections

Rede Feto was invited to participate in an interactive programme on television focused on the processes involved in carrying out the presidential and legislative elections that were held in April and June 2007, respectively. The programme was held in collaboration with CNE and TVTL and was broadcasted on television (TVTL) everyday during the political campaign period. The President of the Board of Rede Feto and the Director of Caucus: Feto Iha Politica represented Rede Feto in the talk show in two occasions or schedules. They were invited to talk about how the gender perspectives are mainstreamed in the processes of the presidential and legislative elections.

Commemoration of International Women’s Day

The celebration of the International Women’s Day was conducted by Rede Feto for two days. With a national theme, “Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women”, the celebration commenced on March 7 to 8, 2007 with several activities which were participated in by its member organizations. The overall activity coordinator was GFFTL, an NGO member of Rede Feto. The objectives of this programme were to raise awareness of the civil society on the effects of impunity on people especially women and to promote peace and harmony in Timor-Leste. More.................

Media campaign on election

Rede Feto conducted a number of media campaign activities prior to the 2007 presidential and legislative elections. A press release was prepared focused on the importance of women’s voters in the two elections in order to change women’s position in life considering that number of women is half of the population of Timor-Leste. The objectives of these activities were to encourage women to vote to achieve change and ensure that their votes are based on their rational choice. The message was not only broadcasted through Radio and television but also through post card which was distributed to all population in Timor-Leste. These activities were carried out in collaboration with Alola Foundation, a member-NGO of Rede Feto. The substantive media support particularly the messages on activities conducted had resulted women voters turn out of almost 50 percent.

Rede Feto invited by President of RDTL to review the electoral law

Rede Feto was invited by the Office of the President to comment on the recent changes on some of the provisions of the electoral law. The National Parliament reviewed and approved some articles related to the location of the counting of votes in districts. Rede Feto also presented its comments on the advantages and disadvantages of changes made on the provisions or articles of the law. After consultation with all the stakeholders, the newly-elected President, H.E. Jose Ramos-Horta finally promulgated the revised electoral law. It is significant to note however, that the civil society organizations were against the changes on the location in the electoral law because it was considered against the principles of transparency and rights to access for information by people at village level.

Rede Feto witnessed the signing ceremony of Code of Conduct of political parties

Rede Feto was invited to witness the signing of the Political Parties Accords in which all political parties declared their commitment to maintain peaceful campaign, avoid violence and follow the rules that are stated in the document. Rede Feto participation during the signing ceremony was to be one of the official witnesses to ensure the importance and usefulness of the code of conduct of political parties for the presidential and legislative elections.

Assessment and dissemination of the results of the Second National Women’s Congress to members and other stakeholders.

An assessment of the results of the Second National Women’s Congress 2004 based on the Platform of Action (POA) was conducted by the Advocacy Officer of Rede Feto. The Officer interviewed representatives from institutions and organizations representing various sectors to include; Rede Feto members, government departments and United Nations (UN) agencies. Before the conduct of the interviews, a structured questionnaire was developed and sent to each of the organizations identified to be part of the interview. It was followed by individual interviews of which the results were collated, interpreted and analyzed. The draft report was sent to stakeholders for review prior to finalization. The same report will be one of the documentation that will be used in preparation for the Third National Congress that is due to be held in 2008.

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