From Babatunde Rahman, Lokoja.
Violence against women, especially during election, has been described as a major issue that has threatened the nation’s democracy since 1999.
Executive Director, Challenge Parenthood’s Initiative (CPI), Eunice Abimbola Aigbogun disclosed this weekend in Lokoja during an advocacy visit to Accord Party (AP) on the need to stop Violence Against Women in Politics (VAWIP) ahead of the November 16th governorship election in Kogi State.
Aigbogun stated that the sensitization program, which is an initiative of her NGO in collaboration with Nigeria Democracy Institute (NDI), has identified some remote causes which has instigated this negative trends on women during and after election.
She maintained that the sensitization program will help to change the narratives about women during election, adding that Violence Against Women in Politics ( VAWIP) has prevented many women from seeking elective positions across the country.
While noting that violence affects women in different forms, both in the public and private spheres, Aigbogun identified physical, sexual, psychological, socio-economic and harmful traditional practices as some of the causes.
“Because we live in a male dominated society, men and the political institutions are the perpetrators of direct and targeted violence against women. They behave violently towards women as voters, candidates/ aspirants, and security officers,” she noted.
She, however, noted that women are also perpetrators of Violence Against Women in Politics (VAWIP). She added that improved girls’ access to quality education, breaking the culture of traditional induced gender inequality, replacement of obnoxious traditions and the reforms of statutory laws to enhance the protection of women are some of the solution to this menace in Nigeria electoral system.
Aigbogun pointed out that eradicating this scourge during election in Nigeria require collective efforts. She added that the ‘Stop VAWIP’ campaign in Kogi State will encourage all women to come out and exercise their civic rights as voters and also support the few women who are contesting during the election.
Responding, the Kogi State Chairman, Accord Party, Alhassan Adakeke said the party is in solidarity with the campaign.
According to him, the party remains gender sensitive, adding that the party has adopted many policies to favour women seeking elective positions.