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Intimidation, harassment hinder women’s participation in Politics – Stakeholders

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Intimidation, harassment hinder women’s participation in Politics – Stakeholders

By Ahmed Ahmed

A coalition of Women Groups and other stakeholders have identified Intimidation, Harassment, and lack of support as some causes for the declining rate of women’s participation in Politics.

This was observed at the town hall meeting on women’s participation and involvement in politics organized by Azurfa Women and Youth Development Initiative (AWOYDI) with the support of the Canadian Government weekend in Bauchi.

The stakeholders observed that cultural norms, male dominance, and high illiteracy level among women also caused participation and interest in politics to dwindle.

They noted that it was time to take proactive measures in order to end the trend of gender-based violence and intimidation of women in the political process.

Mrs. Grace Maikudi, Executive Director (ED) LANGA Women Development Initiative (LWDI) Bauchi state and Guest Speaker said that the low numbers of women in politics could negatively impact political institutions’ commitment to women’s issues and gender equality.

“Intimidation and violence against women in politics is a moral and ethical failure on us as a society.

“Alienating women from political processes undermines democratic processes at large and gender bias to all women folks.

“Violence against women in politics is a violation of human rights that aims to undermine governance,” Maikudi said.

The Executive Director condemns the alleged intimidation of Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) by some male politicians.

“The aim of some such male politicians is silencing women and robbing them of the mandate of supporting their candidates.

“The problem of violence and harassment against female politicians has been increasingly recognized by actors at the state and national levels,” she lamented.

“Divulging threats received on social media, as well as incidents of vandalism and intimidation occurring at the Minister is not healthier, ” she lamented.

Also speaking, Mrs. Mary Magaji, Assistant Director with National Orientation Agency (NOA) urged the women to be firm in their political pursuit with decorum.

She said women have the right to participate actively in politics which would provide dividends of democracy to the society they live in.

Magaji explained that NOA has the mandate to educate the society on democratic process and politics.

On her part, Hajiya Maryam Bagel, the state Commissioner of Power, Science and Technology encouraged women to participate in the democratic process as well as politics.

“The threats against women participating in political processes, such as running for or holding office, supporting or voting for political candidates are more.

“We are rising, but we are not there yet. So I encourage more and more young women to go for elective positions because we can,” she said.

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