2023 Election: FIDA Nigeria holds workshop on reporting violence against women
As the 2023 general elections draw nearer, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on the 2nd of February 2023, held a workshop to train observers on reporting acts of violence against women during elections in Nigeria.
In her address at the program, the FIDA Nigeria Country Vice President/National President, Mrs. Amina Agabaje, which was delivered by the Ilorin branch FIDA chairperson, Barrister Gloria Okoduwa stressed that the one-day workshop is meant for accredited observers on observing, documenting and reporting incidences of electoral violence perpetrated against women before and during the 2023 General Elections.
She revealed that a similar workshop was being implemented across the four focal states of the intervention namely Kwara (North Central), Borno (North East), Plateau (North Central) and Kaduna (North West).In her words,
“Women constitute a powerful electorate with millions of votes in Nigeria. 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 percent (39,598,645 million) of the 84.004.084 million registered voters nationwide.
“Going into the 2023 general elections, there has been an increase in the number of female voters from 39.598,645 to 44.414.846 and from 47,14% in 2019 to 47.51% in 2023 evidently women represent about 50% of the Nigerian population.
“In spite of this, their level of political participation and representation is increasingly very poor.
“Current statistics of women in parliament in Nigeria confirm that women representation in parliament is on a steady decline. 9% in 2007, 7% in 201-1, 5% in 2015 and less than 10% in the 9th National Assembly. Using the 2015 figures, there are only 4 women deputy governors in all of Nigeria’s 36 states. While factors militating against women participation are varied, a major cause hindering effective participation of women in politics is the issue of violence.
“She noted that the eradication of political violence is key in advancing women political participation as it is of paramount importance to condense political violence before and after elections so that women can fully participate in elections.
“The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in laying credence to this fact have clearly recognized that, elections have triggered outbreaks of violence in which women and girls were victimized which have made women a tool of political harassment and violence before during and after elections.
“This has made female voters continue to be disproportionately affected by various forms of election-related violence or threats of violence which is the effect of keeping them away from the polling stations more than male voters.
“It is on this premise that this capacity building workshop is being organized towards advancing the participation of women in the 2023 general elections,” she said.
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