The Neighborhood Initiative for Women Advancement (NIWA), an Ebonyi based NGO says it will soon embark on voter education to mobilise Ebonyi women to participate in the 2019 general elections.
Nancy Oko-Onya, NIWA Executive Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Tuesday in Abakaliki that the NGO was committed to promoting women participation in politics.
According to her, the group is also committed to ensuring that no fewer than 65 per cent of eligible women voters were mobilised to participate in the forthcoming general elections.
Oko-Onya expressed concern that previous elections in the state recorded low participation of women, saying that the NGO was poised to change the situation.
She noted that women, especially those in the rural communities, were not effectively sensitised and mobilised to play active roles in politics.
The executive director said that NIWA would organise voter sensitisation campaigns targeting market women, women peasant farmers and other vulnerable women groups to ahead of 2019 elections.
“Our NGO is a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), committed to championing the cause of the women folk and our desire is to mobilise no fewer than 65 per cent of the women to participate in 2019 elections.
“We have designed a number of strategies to reach out to our women, aimed at mobilising them to actively participate in the forthcoming general elections.
“Our outreach strategy will involve using the electronic media to create more awareness on the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and importance of participation in the election.
“We will also meet with them in their various women associations in the 13 local government areas of the state and educate them on how to vote properly.
“Most women, especially the uneducated ones, do not know how to thumb print and fold the thumb printed ballot papers, thus causing invalid votes.
‘’We will educate and sensitise them on these issues, “Oko-Onya said.
She said that a coalition of NGOs under the aegis of Eastern Non Governmental Organisations (ENGOs), recently met with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to discuss areas of support and collaboration for smooth conduct of 2019 elections.
Oko-Onya, also the State Coordinator of the Coalition, stressed that involvement of Civil Society Organisations in the electoral process was critical in mobilising the electorate and other critical stakeholders.
She lauded INEC for early preparatory arrangements and expressed optimism that the plans the commission had put in place would ensure credible, free and fair elections in Ebonyi in 2019.