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Anambra guber: GPSDC trains 105 local mobilizers…Seeks women inclusion in politics

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

A human rights and advocacy group, Gender Perspective and Social Development Center (GPSDC) has trained and deployed 105 local mobilizers ahead of the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

The local mobilizers would collaborate with the Community Mobilization Officers (COMOs) of National Orientation Agency (NOA) in conducting voter sensitization, to raise awareness on what constitutes Violence Against Women in Politics (VAWIP).

They would also work to encourage women and youth participation in the election, and also link survivors of gender-based electoral violence to services across all local government areas to mitigate electoral violence in the state.

According to the advocacy group, women in politics still face strong resistance from opponents of gender equality who use a wide range of tactics including psychological abuse, economic coercion, physical and sexual assault, cyber-bulling and gendered disinformation to undermine and inhibit their participation in electoral or political processes.

The group recalled that the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in 2016, launched the ‘NotTheCost campaign’ to stop violence against women in politics and had declared that women’s participation should not come at the cost of violence, or even the threat of violence.

“Violence against women in politics doesn’t just affect its immediate target; it also sends a message to other women that violence awaits them in the political space and to the society at large that women should not participate in politics. This ugly trend also fosters women’s inter generational exclusion from politics.”

GPSDC blamed religious ideologies, cultural belief and practices, financial constraints violence and intimidation, lack of family support, problem with implementation of laws protecting women, among many others, as barriers to women participation in Anambra State Electoral Process.

Stop- Violence Against Women In Politics (Stop-VAWIP) is an initiative supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to counter acts of election violence such as threats, hate speech, assault, and blackmail, directed at women in politics.

These acts of violence undermine women’s participation in the electoral process. The goal of the Stop-VAWIP campaign is to help mitigate gender-based electoral and political violence that limits the full participation of women in politics and increase women’s participation in elections and politics.

The Stop-VAWIP campaign is all about awareness-raising and public sensitization activities to amplify women’s voices, increase their access to political space, encourage government responsiveness and accountability, and build citizen’s resistance to acts of violence against women in elections, Orient Daily gathered.

The initiative also seeks to provide social and legal services to female survivors of violence, connect them to needed services through a referral mechanism, and lead advocacy for the implementation of the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Law to mitigate violence against women.

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