The Edo State House of Assembly has been called upon to quickly review and enact the violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill to provide protection for women and ensure punishment for perpetrators of gender-based violence in the state.
This call was made by the Stop Violence against Women in Politics, Stop-VAWIP campaign, GIRLS power Initiative, GPI, and the National Democratic Institute, NDI in a joint statement issued by Mrs. Charity Chris- Ebosele, Coordinator, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team and Mrs. Mabel Ekido, Deputy Coordinator of GPI and Coordinator of Stop- VAWIP, Prince Isreal Orekha of the Vote not fight Campaign and the chairperson Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ In Edo State, Mrs. Adesuwa Ehimuan on the incidence of Gender based electoral violence in the September 19th gubernatorial election in Edo State.
The groups while condemning the violence against women during the governorship election called upon the National Assembly to expedite action in the review of the electoral act and constitution in order to reform Nigeria’s electoral process to be more inclusive, secure and transparent.
“Political parties should desist from carrying out ‘do or die politics’ which deters the full participation of women in politics. Civil society organizations, media, National Orientation Agencies and other stakeholders should continue their awareness of eradicating all forms of gender based violence in the state”
Security agents are urged to put measures in place for the protection of the Electorate especially women and ensure all perpetrators of violence are apprehended and the Ministry of Justice should ensure the duly prosecution of offenders to deter further occurrence.
While commending voters, especially women in unit 6, ward 4 Okpujie in Owan West LGA who resisted the abuse of voters’ choices by party activists, it was recommended that voters, men and women should continue to reject vote-buying during elections.
The Stop- VAWIP campaign is an initiative that seeks to establish the link between gender-based electoral violence and the low level of participation of women in politics and ahead of the gubernatorial election in Edo state, Girls Power Initiative (GPI) raised awareness on violence targeted at women during elections and conducted advocacy initiatives to relevant stakeholders on the need to mitigate violence against women in politics.
It was disclosed that the GPI and the Stop- VAWIP response committee established a survivor Service Centre to document and respond to incidences of violence against women around the gubernatorial election in Edo state.
“By raising awareness of the hotline and the Stop- VAWIP campaigns mission, the confidence to participate in the election increased, knowing the concerns of women were being monitored and supported,” the statement added.