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Towards addressing the challenges women faced in the last general election in Ebonyi State, a group Women Situation Room Nigeria with support from Women International League for Peace and Freedom Tuesday held Postmortem 2023 Election.The group at the one-day event which took place in Abakaliki Ebonyi State, urged women to begin to strategize for the 2027 election.Participants at the meeting were drawn from Women groups, Civil Society Organizations, traditional rulers, the Clergy, INEC, security agencies as well as the media.Lorieth Nwafor the Ebonyi State Coordinator, Women Situation Room Nigeria, said the meeting was aimed at reviewing the 2023 general elections and how to move on with better chances for women. “If we don’t have a background of where we are coming from, we may not know where we are going and what needs to be done.”Women have not done enough in terms of structuring themselves into the mainstream political system knowing that power is not something given but something to come out for, seek for to get it.”This calls for aggressive training and sensitization of women ahead of 2027 general elections so that we start early and not do a fire brigade approach”. She said.
Lady Flora Egwu who is the assistant state coordinator of the GBV taskforce team in her submission called for women inclusion in party formation noting that it was wrong for political parties to only allocate women leader positions to women only in the party structure. Dr. Kelechukwu Okezie, and president women with disability Ugochinyere Ugwu, among others, who shared their experiences from the polls observed that the 2023 general elections were greeted with violence across Ebonyi State.They noted that though a woman was elected Deputy Governor in Ebonyi State, the number of women who clinched other elective positions in the 2023 general elections in the State grossly declined especially at the legislative level. Adding that the level of violence, financial inducement, intimidation, and tearing of voters’ ballot papers other discouraging factors generally worked against women’s full participation in the 2023 electioneering process.The participants at the postmortem dialogue on assessing violence against women and women’s participation in the 2023 general elections called for a review of the law which grants only the independent electoral commission (INEC) chairman to prosecute perpetrators of electoral electoral offenders.They also called for government directives against the high cost of nomination, expression of interest, and other requirements for contesting an election in the country to make them affordable to women.
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