WIMAGE GETS SET FOR MORE MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS AS ITS MISSION GATHERS PACE: FUND-RAISER WAS A MASSIVE SUCCESS
August 11, 2023
By Kabs Kanu, Public Relations Officer
The United States-based international elections observer group, Women in Elections Auditing and Monitoring Globally ( WIMAGE ), has set the stage for more significant assignments worldwide. Fueled with determination by the resounding successes it has so far achieved, WIMAGE is ready to monitor more elections and also continue its flagship program, the Global Agenda of Women ( GAOW).
WIMAGE, it must be recalled, was set up to work with international partners, stakeholders, and like-minded international organizations to audit and monitor all elections in the world, not only to ensure fairness, transparency, and the credibility of the electoral process but to determine whether countries uphold their fundamental liberties and are characterized by gender equality inclusion. WIMAGE will also use its Open Data Portal to “offer diverse data on women’s representation and inclusion, primarily in governance and leadership,” which will be instrumental “to all the humanitarian agencies, government bodies, and investors seeking to make informed decisions regarding gender participation and capacitation efforts, “according to its mission statement.
WIMAGE has creditably served its observer and monitoring assignments in three significant elections in Kenya, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. This month, the organization will send another team to Gabon to monitor its presidential and general elections, after which it will be ready for action again in October to observe crucial elections in the post-war West African nation of Liberia. In Kenya, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, apart from monitoring and keeping the elections, WIMAGE trained volunteers and civil society activists to help observe the elections and to work with women’s organizations, civil society, and advocacy groups to ensure the establishment of its gender participation and empowerment action plan, GAOW.
These engagements are immense, and given the enormity of the financial tasks ahead to address funding shortfalls successfully, WIMAGE staged its first significant Meet-and-Greet fundraising dinner in Washington, DC, on Saturday, July 29, 2023. The fundraiser was well attended by a galaxy of distinguished personalities in the African and U.S. community, including former American professional football player, who was the titan of the National Football League ( NFL ) and the Philadelphia-based poet, social worker and author of the famous book, Don’t Let them see me like this ( Nightboat Books, 2018 ) Jasmine Gibson, who was the guest speaker.
Guests and WIMAGE members at the program exuded profound confidence in the seriousness and importance of WIMAGE’s mission to the world. In her keynote address to guests, Madam Jasmine Gibson could not have exemplified that spirit better when she said:” To me, WIMAGE means being part of something bigger than myself. Advocating for political support for women is so important, and I genuinely believe women will always bring a fresh perspective. I find that women in power are more inclusive as leaders, and I look forward to how WIMAGE will continue to target countries that oppose women having a voice in their government. “
The Chief Executive Officer and founder of WIMAGE, Madam Khadija Sesay, who carved an impressive international image in Sierra Leone when she headed the Open Government Initiative ( OGI ) and the Open Government Partnership ( OGP ), also accentuated the global commitment of the organization when she told the guests: “ I think we are ready. Women are ready. Youths are ready. All we need is to work together as a team. “