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2023: Group calls for an end to violence against women

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Piqued by the worrying trend the 2023 elections is going, women’s right organization and movement have told political parties to stop every form of violence against female politicians.

They also called for special protection for female candidates, politicians and voters alike to guarantee the sanctity of the election.

The Women’s Right Network made the call in a communique from a two-day third annual Women’s Conference, with the theme, ‘2023 and Nigerian Women in Governance: Sustaining the Momentum for Active Participation.’

The conference organized by the Canadian Government, Action Aid Nigeria (AAN) and other partners focused on addressing violence against female politicians, garnering support for female political candidates beyond party affiliation, soliciting media support for female candidates and building momentum for women’s active participation in 2023 elections.

The forum maintained that poor political participation of women in politics is one of the most common but often unrecognized forms of violence and discrimination against women.

It added that such developments hinder the participation of women in public life and promote an unhealthy democratic Nigeria without women.

They said: “Despite the major role women play in societal development, women are yet to be given recognition. The underrepresentation of women in politics is rightly attributed to some cultural stereotypes, abuse of religion, traditional practices, patriarchal societal structures, and the lack of a supportive legal and policy framework.

“In the 2011 election cycle, over 1000 fatalities were reported and we see this trend continued to the 2019 election in Kogi State where Salome Abuh, a PDP woman leader in the state was burnt alive. Nigerian women still mourn this.

Just recently, we received the news of a Labor Party woman leader in Kaduna state who was also murdered. We are yet to receive news, if any, on the investigation of this case.

“In the history of violence against women in politics, female politicians have encountered all forms of violence ranging from sexual harassment, bullying, blackmail and even murder.

“Research has shown that even NYSC members serving as INEC Adhoc staff have fallen victim of this violence. We condemn in strong terms, the murder of the Labour Party woman leader; Victoria Chintex in Kaura, Kaduna State, who was reported to be shot dead at by unknown gunmen at her residence on Monday night of November 28, while her husband sustained gunshot injuries on the leg.

“Nigerian Women demand that the killers be apprehended and brought to justice as soon as possible and that clear and active measures be taken by the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies to make sure that such acts are not repeated”, the communique read.

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