Following a successful pilot in Edo and Ondo States, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) today struck a new partnership to work towards curbing violence against women during forthcoming election in Anambra and the 2019 polls.
Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari disclosed this when he received the FIDA Nigeria President, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Aguba, represented by the Secretary, Mrs. Rhoda Moore.
Abari strongly condemned violence against women, especially in elections, stressing the need to open up the political space for women and other vulnerable groups who have so far been marginalized. He also identified the need for political will to mainstream women in political parties in the country, urging women caucuses of political parties, from the ward levels upward to make inputs towards empowering women and providing them a level playing ground in politics.
The NOA Director General said the Agency is committed to up-scaling its partnership with FIDA to take the advocacy for women political empowerment to all political parties, States, Local Government Areas and the National Assembly, especially as the Anambra, Osun and Ekiti polls approach. He said facts around the world show that the future is feminine and therefore any practice that endangers women endangers the future.
Rhoda Moore, earlier, lamented the poor investigation and prosecution of gender based violence cases by the authorities and linked violence against women to the low level of women’s participation in politics and elections. She however admitted that women also perpetrate violence against fellow women but noted that the NOA/FIDA partnership was formidable enough to correct the unfortunate trend.
The FIDA Nigeria Secretary said the over 2400 member strong organization with membership in 33 States of the Federation has found in NOA a strong strategic partner in implementing its STOP Violence Against Women in Elections (STOP VAWIE) project. This partnership, she said, will among other things sensitize the public on various forms of violence against women, support women in getting help against violence and stimulate awareness of law enforcement agencies on their roles in curbing violence against women in elections.