Abuja, May 7, 2018 (NAN) The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), has urged Nigerian women to register in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to enable them participate in the 2019 election.
Rudolf Elbling, the EU Country Deputy Director in Nigeria, gave the advice at the North East Women Workshop on CVR, organised by the union in Yola on Monday.
Elbling said the core objective of the workshop was to sensitise Nigerian women on the need to register, obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) and fully participate in the electoral process.
« Women participation enriches democracy and makes it more responsive to the aspirations of the people.
« It is therefore, obvious that democracy will lose its meaning unless women are given the opportunity to participate actively in the nation’s political process both as voters and candidates.
« It is unfortunate that women participation in the political process in Nigeria has been limited, » he said.
The country deputy director said that Nigerian women had the lowest representation in parliament in the entire African continent with only about 5.9 per cent.
He compared the figure to those of other African countries like Rwanda which has 61 per cent, Uganda with 34 per cent and Cameroon which has 20.1 per cent women representation.
He urged participants at the workshop to cross-fertilise ideas on how Nigerian women could be fully mobilised to participate in the political process.
In his remarks, Retired, AVM Ahmad Muazu, the National Electoral Commissioner for the North East, described gender equality in politics as a « pillar of democratic governance « .
Muazu noted that in spite of the fact that women constituted a good percentage of Nigeria’s voting population they occupied only 5.9 per cent of political offices.
« As an election management body, INEC remains committed to providing level playing field for political participation of all stakeholders in the electoral process.
« The commission has developed what we call `the INEC gender policy’ to ensure that its electoral functions and operations are gender sensitive and responsive, » Muazu said. (NAN)