Town hall dialogue with Women and Youth in the context of the upcoming 2023 General Election in Nigeria
Abuja, 8 February 2023 - UNOWAS, in collaboration with UN WOMEN supported the Nigerian chapter of the Working Group on Women, Youth, Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel (WGWYPS-WAS) in hosting a Townhall Dialogue with Women and Youth in the context of the upcoming Nigerian General Election, at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja.
The meeting's objective was to mobilize actors on issues of political inclusion, particularly the inclusion of women and young people in the upcoming election. This was done through reviewing security threats from a women and youth perspective, advocating for an active role for women and young people in the process of ensuring peaceful and inclusive elections and engaging with politicians to share perspectives on the Women, Youth, Peace, and Security Agenda. In her welcome address Dr. Lydia Umar, Representative of the Working Group in Nigeria, outlined the desire to use the Townhall Dialogue as an opportunity to provide a medium where women and youth can express their electoral concerns and identify a way forward.
In attendance at this session were 110 participants, from civil society organizations, women, youth, peace and security agencies, the Nigerian Police Force, Civil Defense Corps, political party representatives from PDP, APC AND YPP, women and youth election candidates and media representatives. Special guests at the event included representatives from ECOWAS, UNOWAS, UN Women, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolutions and the Nigerian Trust Fund. The meeting was also attended virtually by members of the Working Group on Women, Youth, Peace, and Security from the 14 states.
The day’s proceedings included several panel discussions on key issues and concluded with youth representatives providing recommendations for the effective implementation of the WPS and YPS agendas in Nigeria. These recommendations included the need for continuous sensitization of women and young people in efforts to promote non-violence during elections, the strengthening of women’s groups in Nigeria to participate in electoral observation, a government declaration of a holiday for students during elections to facilitate increased participation and for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take definite steps to control the excessive monetization of elections and increased governmental impartiality in electoral conduct.
This event marked the commitment of UNOWAS, UN Women and the WGWYPS-WAS to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 2250 (2015), and continued efforts to offer women and youth meaningful and active participation in political and peacebuilding process in Nigeria, and throughout West Africa and the Sahel.