18 November 2019

The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room is outraged by the level of violence in some polling units on election day on 16 November 2019 in Kogi and Balyesa states.

Specifically, the NWTF GEW strongly observes that the political tensions and fierce competition during elections have further created vulnerabilities for women’s political participation and is gradually forcing women to resign from effective participation in the electoral process. The visible escalation of intimidation, harassment and aggression against women candidates, voters and observers is yet another drawback on the drive towards a truly inclusive and democratic governance process in Nigeria.

NWTF GEW therefore condemns in its entirety, the unnecessary violence and tensions created around the two governorship elections and urges key actors particularly the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate and prosecute cases of electoral violence as provided for in the 2010 Electoral Act. Political Parties are also called on to progressively redefine party politics and refrain from violence as a means of getting to power.

The media is highly commended for its continued efforts in analyzing the impact of violence against women in elections. We urge media practitioners to continue spotlighting issues of violence in elections and how it affects the participation of women as observers, voters and candidates.

The courage shown by female candidates in both Kogi and Bayelsa states is highly commended.  We hope their experiences will be channeled positively as useful resources to encourage effective actions to mitigate violence against women in elections across Nigeria and in all phases of the electoral cycle.

GEW Hotlines: 234-9062782773, 9062782774, 9062782779

Signed:

Mufuliat Fijabi

Chief Executive Officer

For Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room

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