Tony Osauzo, Benin-City
Women in the South South region of the country have been urged to actively participate in politics by collecting their permanent voter cards.
European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave the advice today in Benin-City at the South South workshop on enhancing Women’s participation in the Continuous Voter Registration.
At the event, INEC announced that it has registered over four million new voters since it commenced the Continuous Voter Registration across the country.
According to the electoral umpire, the CVR would continue until 60 days to the 2019 general elections in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The Commission’s Director, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender Civil Liason, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, disclosed this said the commission has been piloting new technologies it intends using for the 2019 general elections.
On her part, representative of ECES, Maria Teresa Mauro, said the body is working with INEC to encourage women participation and registration in political activities.
“We are in a workshop which is dedicated to women and of course you have heard from all the speakers that women are underrepresented in registration and political representation so we are facilitating INEC job in increasing the participation of women. The low level of participation is not only in Nigeria or African but also in Europe as well”, she said.
Also speaking, INEC Commissioner, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, express worry that women only occupied 5.8% of political offices in Nigeria when it constitutes 48% of Nigeria voting population.
“Global statistics for gender parity indicate that in 2015 out of 188 countries, Nigeria was 152nd in the human development index in gender inequality and 118 out of 192 countries.
“Since the exercise commenced, over four million Nigerians have been registered across the Country. The gender distribution of fresh registrants according to the commission’s CVR report for 1st quarter 2018 was 1, 362, 293 for women and 1, 560,823 for men. Only a very slight increase in women registration was recorded since we commenced the exercise”, she said.
She explained that with the above statistics, a lot still need to be done by all stakeholders to ensure that the situation improves in 2019 general election, pointing out that the key strategies is for women to register and collect their permanent voters cards, (PVCs).