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2015 Election: Group Advocates Increased Participation of Women In Politics

As 2015 General Elections draw near a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO in the Niger Delta, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre is calling on stakeholders, the media, policy makers and politicians to design possible means whereby more women will participate in the 2015 general elections at all levels of government.
The Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Emem Okon made the call in a welcome address presented at the just concluded two day media training on reporting violence against women.
The event took place at Aldgate congress, Port Harcourt, the Executive Director disclosed that the media is one of the foremost stakeholders to advocate for increased participation of women in politics to spur many women to participate as voters, Party members, candidates or election monitors which also contributed for reduction or elimination of violence against women in politics.
She stated that the media training is a deliberate collaborative effort to solicit for support from the media to intensify campaign against gender-based violence during elections.
Okon further stressed that the synergy between the media and the organization will help to ensure that incidents of violence against women in politics are made more visible and cases more documented to reduce the trend.
The organization had earlier trained community women and civil society organizations on violence against women and early warning signals with the support of Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP), which seek to provide understanding of the nature of violence against women in politics, the motive behind such violence and the effect.
In her presentation, Bridget Osakwe, on the topic “Overcoming violence against women global, national, regional and local”, enumerated some major issues such as domestic violence, acid throwing, sexual abuse, human trafficking, forced marriage and forced prostitution among others.
Mrs. Osakwe posited that violent acts which are primarily or exclusively committed against women are primary motive which is enshrine in the UN declaration on the elimination of violent against women, such violence result in physical, sexual or mental harm etc.
Among other forms of discrimination, injustice and power control degrade the human rights which negate development. She further suggested that torture of women including girls in armed conflict has been increasingly documented and some of the women are victimized for holding prominent political or community positions.
Also, Barr. Rosemary Dokubo who spoke on “policies, laws and legislations in Nigeria and on violence against women,” citing relevant sections against women in the Penal Code, Constitution and Sharia Law where under-aged girl are allow to marry, suggested that the laws against the women especially those at the work place should be repealed.
Constance Meju, a publisher who presented report on violence against women during elections advocated that more women should be given elective positions and appointments in their political endeavours.
She maintained that women should be well groomed from the local level up to the national level, but pointed out that some of the violence against women are organize by the Political Parties to push the women away.
Meju however, called for collaborative effort to change the trend as participants at the conference condemned violence against women by themselves, female mutilation, nudity in acting Nollywood or during demonstrations.
The organization, however agreed that more women should vie for councillorship positions, local government chairpersons, House of Assembly members, Deputy Governors and Governors. ###

Pius Dukor

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