Women need legal framework to fully participate in politics – INEC

Nigerian women discuss politics

The Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Gender Division, Ms Blessing Obidiegwu, has reiterated the need for a legal framework to encourage participation of more women in politics.

Obidegwu said this during a two-day training on women to women voters education in Abuja, organised by the National Women Trust Fund (NWTF), INEC and other partners.

“The National Gender Policy is just a policy, because there is no legal backing, it is either people abide by it or not.

Obidegwu observed that sensitisation and mobilisation on voters’ education in the past by INEC and other stakeholders had increased women participation in politics.

She, however, said more is still needed to be done to increase women participation in politics and advised women to vote their preferred candidates and not be bought by politicians.

“Although, funding was one of barriers to women participation in politics, I advise that the issue of money in politics should be discouraged.

The Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Ms Mufuliat Fijabi, said the training would enable the trainees reach out to more than 500 women direct or indirect on voter education and peaceful elections.

“Women should also advise their wards not to be used as thugs by politicians.

“The trainees will be given necessary skills that will ensure their effective conduct on ‘pair to pair’, `women to women’ voter education exercise.

“The women were selected from various parts of the Federal Capital Territory in order to reach women at the grass roots,” she said.

Fijabi said real democracy would be achieved if women were educated on voting and electoral processes.

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