In an effort to foster peaceful and inclusive elections in South Africa, the Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace (WEMP) is gearing up for action in the upcoming May 2024 elections.

This initiative, spearheaded by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Media Monitoring Africa, South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID) and partners, aims to enhance women’s participation as peace monitors throughout the electoral process.

The Women Peace and Security Project Partners collaborating on WEMP will deploy Peace Monitors in five provinces: Gauteng, Limpopo, Kwa Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape. The call is now open for eligible individuals in these provinces to apply for the role of Peace Monitor.

The selection process is competitive, prioritising candidates with prior training in conflict management, mediation, or peacebuilding. However, training will also be provided for those without prior experience. Peace Monitors will play a crucial role in observing and reporting election-related activities from April to June, ensuring transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

Key duties of Peace Monitors include observation and reporting of election activities in their respective areas, providing incident reports during the election period, and undergoing training in election observation and conflict resolution techniques.

All monitors must adhere to a strict code of conduct, including impartiality, non-partisanship, and professionalism. Desirable qualifications include prior electoral experience, cross-cultural understanding, and proficiency in English. Additionally, candidates must be based in one of the designated provinces and possess the necessary technological capabilities, including access to an Android device.

The WEMP initiative underscores the importance of women’s participation in conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, particularly in the context of elections. By equipping women as Peace Monitors, South Africa aims to create a more inclusive and peaceful electoral environment for all citizens. The goal is to work collectively towards a future where elections are not just moments of political transition but also catalysts for peace and unity.