Enhancing the Participation of Women in the Electoral Process: A Town Hall Meeting

Enhancing the Participation of Women in the Electoral Process: A Town Hall Meeting

Accord in partnership with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja Nigeria, organized and facilitated a town hall meeting with women groups and gender focused CSOs

for the enhanced participation of women in elections in collaboration with the Rivers State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The town hall meeting with women groups and gender focused CSOs took place on the 8th of February, 2019 at the Viontel Hotel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The meeting had in attendance over one hundred participants including representatives from women groups from LGAs across the state, representatives of gender focused CSOs, the print and electronic media, representatives of Accord for Community Development, representatives of INEC, representatives from the Ministry of Women Affairs in Rivers State, representative of the National Orientation Agency, representatives of the European Union (as observers), etc.

The aim of the meeting was to encourage women to come out en-masse and vote during the forthcoming general elections.

Welcome Address by the Administrative Secretary – INEC
The representative of the INEC Administrative Secretary welcomed everyone to the town hall meeting stating that INEC recognizes the importance of women participation in the electoral processes of the Nation hence the need to organize such meeting that will help to encourage women to come out and exercise their franchise and vote in the candidate of their choice. He encouraged women to be vocal and to participate actively in the decision-making processes of their localities starting with their full participation in the forth-coming general elections.


Representative of the National Orientation Agency
In her message, Helen Amujazi thanked the organizers of the program stating that it is important to engage women in the electoral process. She said it is imperative that women given their statistical height in the population of the Nation come out to make their voices heard. Such meetings she said will help women to be more strategic and participate in the electoral process. According to her, NOA has been doing their part to ensure that women participate actively in the election process. She encouraged women to get together and strategize to form a formidable force.

Mrs. Amujazi of NOA delivering her good will message Representative of Ministry of Women Affairs

The permanent Secretary to the Commissioner of Women Affairs, Ambassador (Mrs.) representing the Commissioner in her speech on the role of women in politics cited the Bible quotation in Proverbs 22 verse 6, that mothers should train up their children in the way of the Lord as this will help to curb violence against women and discourage them from taking part in other social vices in their communities. She stated that every violence starts from the early stages of childhood. She said that values women imbibe on their children are important, saying that if the society is bad, women will be held responsible. She encouraged mothers to be more responsible for their children and to treat their male and female children equally as the destiny of the female child is killed from the home when parents encourage the males to take up more challenging careers, while the females are told to take up catering. She also encouraged women to actively participate in the electoral process and in the forth coming general elections so as to elect good leaders of their choice. She encouraged women to be part of the leadership process, encouraging women to come out and contest in the 2023 elections. She said men will support the good course of women.

 Representative of FIDA
The Chairperson of FIDA (Rivers State Chapter) Barr. (Mrs.) Anthonia Osadebe thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Accord for Community Developing for organizing and facilitating the Town Hall meeting. In her remarks, she said that women are victims of violence, however with regards to the forth coming elections women have equal rights as men and should refuse to be intimidated, rather they should exercise their voting rights. She also stated that obstructing the election processes is an offence that has penalties. Women should desist from such offences and come out to vote on the election days.

The Gender Desk Officer Mrs. Beauty Ibiama stated that the objective of the meeting is to sensitize women on the need to exercise their franchise in the forth-coming general elections.

The Head, Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) Mr. Edwin Enabor being represented by Mr. Mark Usilor in his remarks, stated that INEC is well prepared for the forthcoming general elections. He said that INEC educates the populace (women inclusive) on the pre-election, electioneering and the post-election process.

Mr Mark Usilor of INEC, (representing the Head, VEP Mr. Edwin Enabor)

He stated that INEC teaches even in local dialects to reach their goal, while also clamoring for the all-inclusive participation of women. INEC, he said is imploring the women to be resolute and resilient in exercising their votes and to speak against violence. Mr. Osalor stated that INEC is partnering with different strata of security (The Police, The Military, NSCDC, Man-o-War, The Riot Squad etc) and also working in partnership with the DSS and SSS to ensure that the election process is peaceful and violence nipped in the bud. He assured that election materials have started arriving from the Abuja office.

Papers were presented in the areas of; 


The papers were adons to spur up the women to fully involve in the electoral process so as to have a voice and contribute in governance in Nigeria.

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