The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), with the support from UNWomen and Canada yesterday in Ilorin organized high level advocacy for Religious, community Leaders on the consequences of gender based violence and significance of electing credible Leaders in the forthcoming elections.
In her opening address, Hajia Rafiah Sanni, the National Amirah of FOMWAN stated that the subject matter of the programme was to sensitize women and other stakeholders on the coming general elections in Nigeria and discuss on proactive steps on Gender based violence.
She explained that Kwara is one of the three states identified for implementation of this project, adding that FOMWAN with the support of United Nations (UN) Women and Canada powered the mobilization and sensitization of women for the 2023 elections.
According to her, the programme is a high level advocacy forum with experts and different stakeholders expected to help foster good governance, gender and active participation of women in the electoral process.
Speaking on the theme: “Consequences of Gender-Based Violence and the Significance of Electing Credible Leaders”.
Sanni who was represented by Hajia Jemila Ariori, member, FOMWAN Elections and civic responsibilities committee said; that the project focused on Mobilization and Sensitization of Women in the 2023 General Elections, added that the overall goals of the project is to contribute to effective women’s participation in free, fair and violence free elections through interfaith actions.
She emphasised on the need to counter gender based violence during all elections especially as it affects women and girl child during and after elections.
The FOMWAN president reiterated on the importance of electing credible leaders by participating on the 2023 elections process so as to increase capacity of the community leaders and faith based women on curbing gender based violence.
Speaking also, Hajia Ni’mat Labaika, the Kwara State Amirah of FOMWAN pointed out that the organisation is an umbrella body of all Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria with branches across the thirty six states including FCT Abuja, and kwara branch
She explained that the faith based organisation has secured support from UN Women to implement a project on mobilization, sensitization and countering gender based violence before, during and after 2023 general elections.
“FOMWAN in the past decades has been actively involved in civic education and election observers across all the 36 states of the federation including FCT.
“Our ability to mobilize our members in the rural communities to actively participate in the electioneering process cannot be overemphasized,” she said.
Also speaking, the Resource person on Advocacy, Head of Centre Federal ministry of information and Culture, Hajia Bilqees Oladimeji, called for effective advocacy towards effecting the expected change. She urge the identified stakeholders to utilise the regular preaching at their worship centres to support women developmental issues on increase voice for women Leadership.
She lamented that the bureaucratic barricade that hinders women participation in the elections and urge the three tiers of Government to put in place Conducive empowerment for women.
“The rights of women must not be tampered and addressed as human issues. Women participation in politics is very fundamental,” she said.
Mrs Oluremi Chiroma, representative of INEC in Kwara, who commended FOMWAN for their effective mobilization and regular update on the INEC Platform on need to collect voters card as step for voting. added that women voice must be heard and should be allowed active participation in Nigerian politics.
Chiroma submitted that women don’t want to be in competition with their male counterparts but partners in the development of the country.
In his reaction, Oba Abdulrazak Iyiolasemi III, the Olojoku of Ojoku land said women must be empowered fir effective partaking in politics adding that majority of women are instrument to electing men in power.
He condemn politicians who use youths to cause mayhem by giving them access to drugs and tools of destruction.
The community leader opined that politics is a very simple game and sho
The Chief Executive Officer, Global hope for women ad child’s Foundation, (GLOWOK) Christy Adeniji said women needs to put in their best and support in politics so as to achieve the target objective of active women’s participation.
The High level advocacy was attended by stakeholders across the state