Women Have Been Tasks To Participate In Electoral Process

Story by Elizabeth Vincent

A non governmental organization under

the auspices of The Nigerian Women Trust Fund, NWTF has called on women to build capacity and aspire to participate in politics in order to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

The Coordinator of Gender and Election Watch, GEW, Vaneza Gregory stated this during a three day program on election observation of the Bayelsa Governorship off cycle election held at Doncont Hotel and Apartments in Bay ridge, Yenagoa, the State capital.

The GEW Room was supported by the European Union had 15 participants from Civil Society Organizations and the media.

According to Gregory the program is aimed at increased Gender Sensitive Voter Outreach and efforts in reaching and mobilizing women in active politics.

Fielding questions on the topic: Strategies for Increasing Gender Sensitive Voter Outreach, she explained that there should be more targeted Voter Outreach for women especially for those in the riverine areas.

Strategies identified to ensure more Voter Outreach includes the use of local radio stations, Community town criers, Community Based Organizations, women leaders and wives of traditional rulers who can reach out to more women to increase their participation in the electoral process.

Chief Executive Officer, CEO of ENWAF Lady Eunice Nnachi who also participated in the exercise noted that there is a need for more and continuous Sensitive Voter outreach in Bayelsa State using the media to educate women inorder to help them make informed decisions.

She urged women to have a positive mindset, build competence and make themselves available for the media to bring them to the limelight.

“Women should learn to also support each other, women in leadership positions should mentor the younger women and political parties should create an enabling environment for more women participation”

Program Officer, NWTF, Malliya Manu while speaking on the topic: Biases, Stereotypes and Opportunities for Improved Female Representation in the state noted that women should shun derogatory biases and stereotypes that can hinder them from participating in the electoral process.

Other issues discussed that hinder women from actively participating in politics include insecurity, poverty, lack of education, discrimination of women in political parties and some activities of the electoral umpire, INEC.

The participants resolved that targeted sensitization should be done by INEC and other relevant stakeholders to improve women participation in the electoral process as the country cannot achieve inclusive democracy without female participation.

Members of ENWAF that participated in the Gender Election Watch GEW Room include the CEO, Lady Eunice Nnachi, secretary, Mrs Ebizimo Agedah-Oroyi, PRO, Mrs Aqua Douye-Akpuruku, Mike Tayese, Ebiowei Lawal, and Hannah Galabi and Gabriel Ikio.

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