The Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Women Against Violence and Exploitation (WAVE) Foundation, an NGO has sensitised FCT women on their human and civic rights as a measure to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and increase participation in election and other political processes.
The Deputy Director, Gender and Inclusivity Department, INEC, Mrs Osuji Chika, at a community stakeholders’ workshop and sensitisation at Mpape axis of the FCT, expressed displeasure on the low percentage of women’s turn out during general elections.
Mrs Chika explained, stressed the need to educate women, especially those at the community and grassroots levels on the importance of political participation in curbing GBV and ensuring gender equality through women’s representation in governance.
“This segment of the people in the society are usually disenfranchised when it comes to political appointment and elective positions in the system.
” From the registration we have recorded a huge number of women. If in the same vein they go collect their PVC and then turn out during election, they can made informed decision” she said.
The President of WAVE Foundation, Ms Lola Ibrahim, said most of the votes during elections came from the grassroots and women at that level, hence the need to sensitise them more on the value of their numbers, which determines the outcome of elections.
“When it is time for election, the elitist do not go out to vote, most of the votes comes from the grassroots and a lot of women at the grassroots are marginalised.
“So, it is important to campaign against GBV and also sensitize the women on how to vote, who to vote and when to vote” she said.
On his part, Mr Mathias Aliu, Councillor representing Wuse Ward under Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) said the awareness campaign was vital to educate women in the community on their sexual and civic right to enable them make inform decision both in their domestic and public lives.
“In Nigeria, violence against women is on a very high level compared to other parts of the world where there is a lot of awareness.
“This is a welcome development because we will enlighten our women on their rights to vote, their rights in the house and their sexual rights, ” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other highlight of the event was a demonstration by INEC officials on the processes involved in Voters Registration, collection of PVCs and the ICT equipment used to collect and transmit election results.