ATABOR JULIUS LOKOJA
Against the backdrop of the sustained violence against women in politics by their male counterparts, a non Governmental Organisation under the aegis of Challenged network of parenthood Initiative ( CNPI) has taken the campaign of ending violence against women in politics to the kogi state , Lokoja chapter of the Council of Ulamas to help propagate the message to their members.
Speaking to the leadership of the council, in Lokoja over the weekend, the Executive Director, Mrs Eunice Abimbola stated that the Stop Violence Against Women In Politics ( VAWIP) campaigns is to establish a link between gender based electoral violence and the low interest of women to participating actively in politics.
The Executive Director noted that the goal of the organisation is to mitigate at the violence against women during elections and to arouse their interests in active politics.
She informed that a research conducted in 2015 indicates increase in understanding about violence against women in politics in Nigeria.
Abimbola who identified various types of violence against women to include physical , economical and psychological lamented at the attitude of the male counterparts as the purveyors of all these violence against women especially those in politics.
She decried situations where women were being dragged from the polling stations, forcibly seizing their voters card and in some instances , physical assault on them.
She added that some unscrupulous men took delight in raping women on queue to cast their votes , calls for concerted effort to arrest the incessant sexual exploitation and gratification by the opposite sex.
While seeking the support of the Council of Ulamas in the fight against all forms of violence against women in politics urged men of good will and high integrity to join hands with the Organization to tamed the ugly trend before it becomes endemic.
” Women are faced with death threat, threat to bodily harm, coercion to vote for a particular candidate and at some times threatbof divorce.
” It is worrisome that women are denied access to economic resources, destruction of their properties, and vote buying and selling. And because we live in a male dominant society, we believe they are the perpetrators of violence against women. We condemned their ill behaviours towards women either as voters or as candidates.
” It is unfortunate in our society that traditional practices are targeted at women even as some women are being used by men to perpetuate violence against their fellow women.” She warns.
According to her , to end the violence against women all hands must be on deck to increase girl – child access to quality education while maintaining that the society should rise against some cultural practices that inhibit the fundamental human rights of women.
In a remark, the Administrative Secretary of Kogi State Council of Ulamas, Alh. Idris Babaango commended the bold initiative of CNPI in ensuring the eradication of all forms of violence against women in politics.
He assured of committed cooperation in the fight to making electoral space conducive for women in politics , promise relentless support for legislation that will end the violence.