From Gyang Bere, Jos

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, has called for the protection of women during and after the 2023 election.

It cautioned against the violation of women during the polls and called on government to set machinery in motion to address all excesses meted against women.

Chairperson of FIDA Plateau state chapter, Mrs Obioma Achilefu disclosed this on Friday in Jos during a one day training for election observers and young women on monitoring, documentation and reportage of violence against women during 2023 elections.

She noted that based on previous elections in Nigeria, women played a vital role as they constitutes about 47.14% of voters registration in the 2019 general elections according to INEC report.

Achilefu revealed the project is supported by United Nations women and the Government of Canada which has Plateau, Kwara, Kaduna and Borno States as beneficiaries.

She said, “According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigerian women signaled their intention to make their voices heard in the 2019 election, accounting for about 47.14 per cent (39,598,645 million) of the 84,004.084 million registered voters nationwide.

“Comparatively In 2015, three million, six hundred and sixty-seven thousand, and seventy-six (3,667,076) housewives voted in the presidential election, placing next to students (4,480,708) and civil servants (4,628,433). Similarly, housewives rank third on the list of registered voters by group in the last 2019 election. They represented 14.10 per cent of the total registered voters by group, next to farmers/fishers (16.23 per cent) and students (26.57 per cent).

” Despite this improvement in participation, recent data have clearly indicated that women’s rates of participation in formal decision making remains one of the lowest on the continent and across the world with women occupying an abysmal 5.6 per cent (86 out of 1534) of all elective positions at both the national and subnational levels.

“We are not going to have a zero result but we believed it will go a long way in cutting down such excesses of violence against women in the next 2023 elections.”

However, the project officer of FIDA, Olivia Dazyan Esq acknowledged that 40 participants, between the ages of 18-35 cutting across different organizations attended the training.

“All we are saying is that as we start the electioneering campaigns and coming to the elections proper, FIDA want to help those young women to get to identify those issues that can actually trigger violence. It is a series of activities that we stage out, recently we trained field workers and sent them to their various communities which would be reporting on the occurrence of such incidence if there is any.

“We just heard the experiences that FIDA Nigeria had during the Osun State governorship election, and these are base line experiences that we want to encourage, and further the understanding of this young women that have come out to participate in the workshop.

“We are going to get another session with security agencies which will like a feedback situation where we tell them these are the issues that arise as a result of the field work which the field workers have come to bring out. We believed that come 2023 the elections in Plateau and Nigeria will be free, fair and peaceful.” She stated.

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Source: news