With the 2023 general elections just a few days away, the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and the Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) have embarked on a sensitization campaign to mobilize and prepare women for their roles in the upcoming election. The religious groups believe that women are critical stakeholders in election and governance and cannot afford to be detached from the process of selecting leaders to direct the affairs of the nation.
The National Amirah of FOMWAN, Hajia Rafiah Sanni, explained that the group aims to contribute to effective rural women’s participation in the 2023 elections through interfaith actions. She emphasized the need to counter gender-based violence during all elections, especially grassroots women and girls, before, during, and after elections. Mrs. Bolanle Ihesiulor, the national chairperson of WOWICAN, expressed her appreciation for the support received from the United Nations Women, which has helped make the mobilization and sensitization exercise successful.
The religious women have worked together in 10 states and are currently working in six states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). INEC Gender Officer in the FCT, Princewill Martina, encouraged women to mobilize and participate en masse on election day, assuring them that their votes would count, and that INEC is ready to give Nigerians free, fair, and credible elections. The group aims to encourage the election of credible leaders by participating in the 2023 election process, increasing the capacity of community leaders and faith-based women to curb gender-based violence and clarify questions that might have been encountered in the field regarding the election.