Do not Exclude women from party primaries – Human Right Expert

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UN human rights experts is urging Nigeria to take immediate steps to remedy deliberate attempts to exclude women candidates from recent party primary elections for seats in state and national legislatures.

The Expert made the disclosure in a statement signed by the UN Women Communication officer, James Bigila. 

The Experts said there have  been reports of widespread intimidation, blackmail and violent attacks against women candidates and its supporters. 

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of violence and intimidation to try to keep women out of Politics. Perpetrators of such violence must be brought to justice.”

The group is calling  on the Nigerian authorities to fully investigate the allegations and ensure that women candidates who have been unfairly or illegally excluded are given access to appropriate remedies.

.”We also urge the authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that such irregularities are not present in the next phase of elections.

Reports of irregularities in primaries in states around Nigeria include reports of party and election officials excluding women candidates from candidate lists”

“Women are being denied  access to essential information regarding the election, and cancelling and rescheduling primaries, allegedly with the sole purpose of excluding women candidates.”

The Expert also bemoaned the fact that,Nigeria’s National Gender Policy which stipulates 35percent affirmative order is not being folloeed .

“We are calling for measures to ensure that women fill 35 percent of elective and appointive political posts. We want measures to be put into actual practice to ensure that women are in these positions”

“Ensuring women’s full and equal participation in politics and in public life is required by international human rights law.  It is essential for women’s equality in all spheres of life”

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