The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has urged the government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to promote the political empowerment of women in Kogi State. Zainab Yahaya Tanko, the Program Lead at NWTF, made this call during a one-day advocacy meeting held in Lokoja on Wednesday. The meeting focused on improving women’s access to voter registration points in response to the observed low turnout of women during elections.
Tanko emphasized that empowering women in the voter registration process would enhance their confidence and active participation in the electoral process. Addressing the attendees, she stated, “We are here to address reforms concerning barriers to voter education in Kogi State. Through research conducted last year, we identified key findings and recommendations related to barriers specific to Kogi State.”
The NWTF has developed an advocacy strategy to address these identified barriers, and stakeholders were invited to provide insights and steps for necessary reforms in Kogi State. Tanko highlighted one crucial reform—empowering women in voter registration. She proposed that collaboration between Civil Society Organizations, INEC, and government support could facilitate moving women from one point to another for registration, ultimately improving women’s voter registration in Kogi State.
Tanko identified physical, socio-cultural, legal, and financial barriers as factors limiting women’s participation in voters’ registration. Under the category of physical barriers, she stressed the importance of establishing more registration points within women’s localities, particularly in public places like markets, schools, and hospitals, where women can easily access them and quickly return to their daily responsibilities.
Barr. Joy Oluwaseun Akinola, the Kogi State coordinator for the Young Women in Politics Forum, also called for collaboration among relevant stakeholders to ensure the full representation of women in politics. The advocacy meeting aimed to formulate effective strategies to overcome these barriers and encourage increased women involvement in the political landscape of Kogi State.