Centre Moves To Uplift Women’s Profile In Nigeria’s Electoral Processes


Ahead of Nigeria’s forthcoming General Elections, the Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI) has reaffirmed determination to curb such issues as marginalisation, apathy and passiveness of women in the electoral processes.

This, the CWIS intends to do through enhanced participation of women in the 2023 General Elections, according to its Project Officer, Mrs. Precious Uwubiti.

Uwubiti stated at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that the centre had executed projects in five communities in two area councils of the FCT aimed at increasing young females’ participation in the 2023 General Elections.

She emphasised the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to put in place more measures that would guarantee women and girls’ safety during the elections.

According to her, if adequate security is provided women will be encouraged to participate well in the elections.

The CWIS Project Officer explained that youths make up over 70 per cent of the country’s population, with young women and girls accounting to be more.

In her words: “INEC and security agencies should provide the enabling environment for women and girls to be encouraged to participate in the forthcoming election.

“Women have the mind of mother; they care about welfare and the future. If interested with anything, they would not fail.”

She observed that young women and girls within the ages range of 18 to 35 were largely not represented in decision making and governance.

They are often, according to Uwubiti, reduced to agents of political violence during elections, while a number of other young persons show little or no interest at all in elections and the processes.

“In order to address female marginalisation, apathy and passiveness in Nigeria’s electoral processes, the centre implemented the Action for Better Female Participation in elections in Nigeria (ABIPN) being supported by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD).

“The ABIPIN project sought to boost interest and increase young females’ participation and inclusion in the forthcoming elections, mobilized youths through active social media engagements and establishing female led cohorts to promote the tenets of the project which is women exercising their power and voice by voting and supporting more women in politics,” she said.

She added: “To gain a momentous impact within a short period of time, CWSI planned and executed the following: promoting a campaign on social media through the hashtags #HerVoteHerVoice #RaisingHerVote. This included training and engaging 14 influencers to develop social media content and promote online interactions on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”

Uwubiti also stated that the CWSI conducted virtual engagements featuring young influencers on Twitter, Zoom and Instagram Live.

“They lead conversations targeted at reducing voter apathy amongst young girls and women, encouraging young girls and women to collect their PVCs (Permanent Voter’s Cards) and vote in the forthcoming elections,

“We also encouraging them to register in political parties and run for elective positions of leadership from the ward, local government and the state levels,” the CWIS Project Officer said.

She revealed that, through the project, no fewer than 600 women and young girls were reached during the community voter education meetings and voter mobilisation outreach held in the University of Abuja.

“As a result of these sensitisations, 185 women and girls reported to have collected their PVCs; 280 women and young girls were reached during the voter awareness meetings and rallies organised by the community cohorts.

“As a result of which 100 women and girls have been able to collect their PVCs.

“Also, the influencers, through the use of social media platforms, have not only evolved from an identity of stable consumers of news and political narratives but have also become sources of newsfeeds, and trendy agenda framers concerning leadership, accountability and good governance online.

“And these engagements have provided the space and forum on which youths share their experiences and the state of the country’s preparation for the forthcoming elections online,” Uwubiti said.

Similarly, she disclosed that the online and virtual engagements have been able to reach over 15 million persons, and, as a result of the influence from the social media messages shared, 110 (74 Females and 36 males) persons registered for their PVCs.

Speaking, the Programme Manager for the CAFOD, Mrs. Omolola Mamedu, said that the agency was concerned with the protection of women and girls’ rights, based on the conviction that all men and women are equal and, indeed, they have rights in the society.

“We protect women and girls’ rights; we also promote equality for both genders.

“Giving justice to women is the same as giving justice to men, it is the only way to build a balance society,” she said.

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