Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Coordinator, Stop Violence Against Women In Politics (VAWIP), Mabel Ekoghode, said that the body has received over 150 calls before, during and after the conduct of governorship election in Edo State which held on Saturday, September 19, and recorded incidents of violence targeted against women.
Ekoghode made the disclosure while briefing journalists in Benin on incidences of gender-based electoral violence in the just concluded state election.
‘The Survivor Service Centre serves as a central location for all operations, including where incidences of violence against women from the hotline are tracked and crucial support and response were provided to victims of gender-based electoral violence,’ she stated.
‘In this election cycle, the Centre received no fewer than 150 calls before, during and after the conduct of elections and recorded incidents of violence targeted against women.
‘The Centre tracked cases via partners like Yiaga Africa WTV, Nigeria Electoral Violence, Ministry of Justice, Citizens Observers and Stop VAWIP Community Mobilizers and citizens,’ she said.
Mrs Ekoghode said physical violence constituted about 32 percent of the entire incidents and that the female voters were affected by bodily harm, assault, attacks and were beaten during the election while threat and coercion constituted about 50 per cent of the total number of recorded incidents of violence, notably South-Ibie in Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.
The coordinator of the group also said that the economic violence constituted about 18 per cent of the total number of recorded incidents of violence against women. This she said could be seen through reported cases of vote buying and selling that took place during the poll.
She said though there were reductions in the cases of violence against women in the just concluded governorship election, unlike the previous elections because of the increased awareness campaigns and sensitisation by the group, she still believes that more efforts are needed to end the scourge of violence against them before, during and after any election in the State and in the nation at large.