The Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) on Thursday solicited the redress of alleged injustice to female aspirants in Plateau, Edo, Ondo, Kogi, Imo, Niger and Ekiti States during the last primaries of political parties.
The President of the Forum, Ms Ebere Ifendu, made the call at a news conference on “the Just Concluded Political Parties’ Primaries and the Implications for Women Participation and Representation in Elections.’’
“WIPF also observed that not more than 10 percent of women across all political parties could afford the nomination forms.
“This is a potential for violence against women in politics (VAWIP) as desperate bids to buy nomination tickets can make women vulnerable to abuse.
“WIPF condemns in strong terms this development and demands for an immediate action from all stakeholders to put this to an end.
“The forum urges all stakeholders to act to save Nigeria’s democracy from losing the gains made over the years and from a complete exclusion of women, youths and persons with disabilities,’’she said.
WIPF is an NGO that is committed to the cause of women with keen emphasis on their inclusion, active participation and representation in politics and elections.
Ifendu said that there had been a lot of mixed feelings which had trailed the conduct of the parties’ primaries concluded on Oct. 7, in line with INEC’s schedule for the 2019 general elections.
She said that in spite endorsement made at the Women Aspirants Advocacy Summit to encourage women to contest, the big parties did not give women the opportunities to participate the way they had wanted to.
Ifendu called on all political parties to be more democratic in their pursuit of power and positions, resist all forms of electoral violence and abuse against women.
She also called on development partners to initiate targeted advocacy to political parties and other stakeholders to review the code of conduct for political parties to include a benchmark for nomination tickets.
“We demand that the parties respect the twinning, affirmative action as agreed, (one woman per senatorial district), most importantly to respect and promote gender participation in party administration,’’she said.
Ifendu expressed concern over non inclusion of women on the appeal committee set up by the APC, saying this will not give them proper representation.
On the quest for female running mates for elective positions in 2019 general elections, Ifendu said:
“We have been conversing to have a female vice president, I guarantee you as I speak on behalf of Nigerian women that if any political party among the big parties picks women as vice president, that is like having 50 per cent of their votes secured.
“Nigeria women will come out en mass to support that party’s candidate.’’