16 Days of Activism: Why women must be protected from violence during 2023 elections –  Electoral Hub

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Initiative for Research, Innovation and Advocacy in Development (IRIAD) and The Electoral Hub have called on relevant stakeholders to take necessary actions to ensure the protection of women and girls against any form of violence during the 2023 general elections.

The Executive Director, IRIAD/The Electoral Hub, Princess Hamman-Obels stated this in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence with the theme,”United! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls”.

Hamman-Obels revealed that the Forum joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, adding that the yearly international campaign commences on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on December 10, the International Human Rights Day.

She recalled that the campaign was initiated by activists at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. This campaign was adopted as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

According to her, it also called for more action to prevent and end violence against women by breaking down barriers that rob women of their rights and power.

She therefore urged all stakeholders in Nigeria to ensure that women and girls are protected from violence that would prevent their full participation in the electoral processes during the 2023 general elections.

She said,”This year’s theme tagged “Unite! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls” is a call and appeal to citizens, stakeholders, institutions to play their role in ending violence against women and girls, show support and solidarity to women’s rights activists and to resist the rollback on women’s rights.

“In Nigeria. Sadly, the incidents of gender-based violence has been on the increase with the current insecurity challenges and the state of economy as 1 in 3 Nigeran women have experience physical violence by age 15.

“With two months to the 2023 general election in Nigeria, IRIAD/The Electoral Hub raises concerns on the issue of violence against women particularly during elections as women and children are the most vulnerable in the advent of conflict.

“On that note, we call on relevant stakeholders to take adequate and necessary actions to ensure that this issue does not arise in the election, and to ensure the protection of women and girls against any form of violence.”

Hamman-Obels added,”In line with IRIAD’s commitment to advocating for Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI), we will relentlessly continue to engage in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) through strategized women empowerment to facilitate their engagement and involvement in politics, electoral activities, and inclusion in governance.

“Finally, to engage in this year’s 16 Days of Activism, IRIAD-The Electoral Hub under its Gender Rights and Justice Programme, and Road to 2023 General Election project, would through physical and online medium create awareness and educate citizens on the multiple effects and consequences of GBV to foster women inclusion in the electoral process and gender equity as we envision a world where gender equity and justice reigns. At IRIAD -The Electoral Hub, we have zero tolerance for women, youth and PWD marginalization and exclusion.”