Kogi: NWTF Talks About Women’s Empowerment To Boost Voters Registration
Being disturbed by the low turn out of Women during election, the Nigerian Women Trust Fund,, NWTF, has stressed the need for Women to be empowered in Kogi State in a bid to increase voter registration ahead of next election.
The Program Lead, NWTF Zainab Yahaya Tanko made the call on Wednesday at a one day advocacy meeting on enhancing access to Women’s voter registration held in Lokoja.
Our Kogi State Correspondent, reports that Tanko emphacized that, empowering Women on voter registration will further boost their confidence in participating actively in electioneering process, stressing that, that, Women plays a pivotal role in strengthening Nigeria nascent democracy.
According to Tanko, “We are here to get steps for reforms concerning barriers on voters education in Kogi State. We made a research last year on identifying barriers on voters education. After the research, we got key findings and recommendations of barriers that are peculiar to Kogi State.
“We have developed advocacy strategy on how to move forward within all this identified barriers. Now, we are bringing stakeholders who have been identified for the advocacy to give us insight and steps to reforms that will be needed to end this barriers in Kogi State. One of the reform is empowerment of Women on voter registration.
“When we talk about empowerment, if Civil Society Organizations, Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) can come together with the support of Government to move Women from one point to another point for registration, it will help to improve voters registration for Women in Kogi State and also encourage election participation”.
Tanko had earlier identified physical, socio-cultural, legal and financial barriers as some of the barriers negating Women from participating in voters registration before election in Kogi State.
On the way forward, Tanko said “Under the physical barriers, Women wants more registration point to be made available within their. When we talk about the reach of Women, it has to do with public places like market, schools and hospital where Women can easily have access to and quickly run back to their business or run back to their families. They also suggested that having where to register should be very accessible. It must not be a place where they can’t have access to in Kogi State”.
While emphacizing the need for Women to be given priority during voter registration in Kogi State, Tanko, however, lamented the role some traditional rulers have played in Kogi State negating the drive of Women to participate actively during and after electioneering process.
Continuing, Tanko said “We have this report that some traditional rulers have this at the back of their minds that Women can not he made to lead position because of their cultural background. This is very worrisome and condemnable in a modern world and democracy. For a traditional rulers to come out and make such pronouncement, it discourages Women to come out and register because they will think that nothing will come out of the process”.
On her part, the Kogi State Coordinator, Young Women in Politics Forum Barr. Joy Oluwaseun Akinola, called for synergy among relevant stakeholders to achieve full representation of Women in politics and governance and particularly Women’s participation in the voter registration process.
“At this program, we have the security agencies, National Orientations Agency, (NOA) Civil Society Organizations and the media and a host of others coming together to chart a course and find solutions to the challenges bedevilling Women in voter registration process. With this engagement, we have been able to chart a course for the solutions towards making Women come out more to register and vote. I believe that in the next registration process, we will see more Women coming out to vote” Akinola said.