Ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections, the faith-based NGO, Christian Rural Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN) recently hosted a training workshop for women and men on gender-based violence (GBV), in Kano, targeted at sensitizing them on the need to vote the right candidates into various political offices, particularly candidates with plans for gender inclusion including addressing GBV.
“The training is aimed at sensitising men and women on the dangers and consequences of gender-based violence. As someone said, if you want to analyse the state of development of a country, look at the status of its women. The 2019 elections are around the corner, the question is what is at stake for women? Are women aware and ready to vote those candidates that will ensure GBV is minimised or even eradicated?” said James Obadiah, CRUDAN’s North West coordinator.
Obadiah said the effectiveness of the leadership of any nation was determined by whether or not women were included in governance processes including whether or not they were sensitised and informed enough to understand their fundamental right to vote during elections.
“What is the place of women in governance? Are they sensitised enough to understand their fundamental right of being able to elect the right leaders. We therefore asked the women if they had Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs); over 90% of them had it. Thus, we urged them to vote according to the quality of individual candidates and not according to the candidates’ political parties,” he said.
GBV is a serious issue in northern Nigeria particularly among women and girls; the spate of threat to the safety of women and girls has been particularly worsened by the Boko Haram insurgency in North East where women and girls (at schools and in displaced-persons camps) continually grapple with the threat of rape and abduction. It is feared that the state of violence in the region will affect women’s turnout to vote in the 2019 elections.
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