The Independent National Electoral Commission, has urged women to get registered, collect their Permanent Voter Cards and participate actively in supporting women seeking elective offices.
Mrs Naomi Yusuf, INEC Gender officer in Bauchi, made the call at a one day symposium to commemorate the 2022 International Women’s Day on Tuesday in Bauchi.
She urged women, particularly at the community level, to ensure that they got registered and obtained their PVC to enable them to vote for women seeking elective offices in their respective communities.
“It is disheartening to see women contesting elective offices and never make it beyond the primary elections because they have no support.
“If women can mobilize themselves and support their fellow women, more women will win elective offices which will benefit them in the future,” Yusuf said.
Also Speaking, Hajiya Maryam Garba, the Executive Director Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative, decried that the number of women in elective position in the country was very low compared to their male counterparts.
She called on women to bridge the gap by seeking elective offices so that they could get fair representation at the local, state and national levels.
Garba explained that the aim of the symposium was to sensitize women on the need for them to break the gender barriers against them by ensuring that more women were in elective offices.
“The number of women we have in our elective offices both at the state and national levels is not encouraging at all.
“We are the only one that can change the narrative by supporting ourselves to ensure that we support any woman seeking an elective position,” she said.
On her part, Mrs Comfort Sulisma, the Special Assistant to the Bauchi state Governor on Special Duties, said that the fear of rejection had hindered so many women from contesting elective offices.
She stressed that so many factors ranging from religion, gender bias, tradition amongst others had made many women hide in their shell without exploring their potential.
Sulisma noted that women should push for the 35 per cent affirmative action to have fair representation at all levels of governments.
The symposium was organized by the Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative in collaboration with Actionaid Nigeria.
The theme for the 2022 IWD is “Gender Equality Today for a sustainable Tomorrow.”