By Iduozee Paul, Benin
As the electorates gather together to cast their votes, the coordinator for Girl’s Power Initiative, May Ekido, disclosed that most women do not participate in politics is because of the violence and assault they experience from their male counterparts.
Ekido made the statement at a press conference in Benin City, and lamented that, women participation in politics in Nigeria is low as a result of the violence and abuse. She said what they are doing is to encourage women to come out and be involved in politics for good governance.
“The conveners of the Stop Violence Against Women in Politics ( Stop-VAWIP), and Vote Not Fight campaigns, Girls Power Initiative (GPI) and Connected Advocacy thank the efforts of all Stakeholders, INEC, CSOs, NGOs and the Security Agencies for continuing to perform their roles and duty for ensuring an inclusive, participatory and secure 2020 Edo election,”
The Edo State chairperson of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Comrade Adesuwa Ehimuan, added that the poor representation of women in governance and leadership positions in their various communities does not encourage them to be actively involved in the elections.
Comrade Ehimuan also alleged that there was increased facts of collection and sales of PVCs from female and male voters at Sapele Road, Benin City.
She said, in Esan East LGA, the spate of violence is increasing while in South Ibe , Etsako West LGA, women have been coerced into voting for a candidate not their choice.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of Vivian Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Benin City, Dr. Egbe Enobakhare, said ahead of Edo Polls, GPI trained and deployed 54 local mobilizers, who worked in collaboration with the Community Mobilization Officers and NOA to conduct voter sensitization.
Dr Egbe said the aim was to encourage women and youths to take part in the in Edo election. “During the era, Stop-VAWIP mobilizers reached out to 15,618 women and men across the 18 local governments in the state; about 92 spread across the three senatorial districts of Edo state”. The Stop-VAWIP campaign deployed a critical system for coordinating service delivery and timely access to services for survivors”.