Gender and Election Watch (GEW)
…. watching the electoral process from a gender perspective
The Gender and Election Watch (GEW), an initiative of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and a member of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation room is in Akure to observe the Ondo State Governorship election scheduled for Saturday, 10 October 2020 from a gender angle. This strategic effort has been relied upon to gather information and carryout analysis about women’s participation in elections compared to those of men.
To this end NWTF GEW has deployed citizens observers across eighteen (18) Local Government Areas of Ondo state for the State Governorship Election scheduled for October 10, 2020 to observe and assess how all elements of an election process in the governorship election can affect women in general.
On the eve of the governorship election, NWTF GEW Room’s observation is focused on INEC’s preparedness and the level of readiness of women to participate in the election. There are also close assessment as deeper comparisons will also be weighed against the background of the just concluded Edo State Governorship election. The NWTF GEW Room will also be observing the conduct of all relevant stakeholders from a gender dimension.
NWTF GEW carried out a pre-election observation as follows:
- That of the 17 candidates contesting the governorship election, there are no women. This points a digression for Women’s political participation in Ondo State.
- That Three (3) of the Seventeen (17) Deputy Governorship Candidates are women. This represents 17.64% of the candidates.
- The situation in the state is tense with reports of violent clashes between rivals of political parties, especially the attack on some female party supporters in Oba-Akoko who allegedly were beaten and stripped naked for wearing politically branded t-shirts of one of the candidates. Given the tense atmosphere, this may discourage women from participating in the elections tomorrow.
- INEC’s distribution of sensitive materials to Local Government Areas has gone on very well and under control. As at the time of the pre-election visitation, all sensitive and non-sensitive materials had been distributed to all the 18 LGAs. We have also received assurances from INEC that materials will leave the LGAs for the RACs today, October 9, 2020.
- There is strong Presence of armed security personnel in the state.
NWTF’s GEW Room’s observation of the 2020 Ondo State Governorship will include:
We urge on the following:
- That the security agents should continue to ensure that the atmosphere is calm to encourage the participation of women.
- That all voters should ensure that they abide by the government protocols on safety at the polls and covid-19 prevention measures
- That all indicators that could lead to irregularities in the 10 October 2020 elections should be minimized to increase the credibility and fairness of the elections
- That Security personnel should be ready to arrest electoral offenders and document all evidence of infractions and violence and share their information with INEC for appropriate sanctions
- That political parties be reminded of their commitment to the Peace Accord signed by the 17 candidates for a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the elections.
- That the Edo State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should sustain its drive towards a gender responsive electoral process through the disaggregation of data in reflecting the number of female voters compared to male voters.
- We call on all citizens of Ondo State and women to turn out en-masse to participate in the election on 10 October 2020 as this is the only way to ensure development of their state
- We encourage INEC to ensure that there is unfettered access to female voters especially those with special needs.
The Gender and Election Watch (GEW) is an initiative of Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF), aimed at observing and analyzing the participation of women compared to men in elections through election observation from a gender perspective.
GEW Hotlines: +234-7025005026, 7025005027, 7025005028.
Chief Executive Officer
For Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room
of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF).