To gear up efforts toward advancing women’s participation as voters in the upcoming 2019 General Elections, The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), in collaboration with the Gender Division of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), organized a two-day “Training of Trainers on Women to Women Voter Education” on 8th – 9th January 2019 in Abuja. The objective of the training was to ensure an increased participation of women in the electoral processes and provide the tools for women and young women to view elections from a gender perspective, as well as build their capacity to deliver on voter education sensitization across different Local Government Areas in the Federal Capital Territory.

During the welcome remarks of the Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi, she cited that #OurVoteCountsNG Project is key and valuable to the nation’s democratic process.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), represented by Ms. Blessing Obidegwu, Deputy Director – Gender Division of the Commission, during her goodwill remarks, explained that the training is important to enable women’s understanding on the practice of their civic values, rights and obligations in their daily lives. Against this background, she stated her concerns that despite numerous strategic interventions targeted at encouraging female voters, the recent gender analysis of registered voters for 2019 General Elections shows that the percentage of female voters remains lower (47.14%) than the male gender (52.86%), although the Commission recorded the highest number of registered voters (84, 004,084). “This is an indication that further interventions are needed to encourage more women to participate in the electoral process” she resounded.

Ms. Obidegwu concluded by lauding NWTF’s collaboration as very timely and one that effectively supports existing movements for a truly democratic and participatory electoral system. She maintained that the knowledge acquired will go a long way in encouraging more female voters to vote during forth coming elections in the Federal Capital territory.

This training is part of the activities of the #OurVoteCountsNG Project being implemented in partnership with Westminster Foundation, with supports from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance (EU-SDGN) Programmes in Nigeria.