During Nigeria’s last leg of elections for governorship seats and State Houses of Assembly on 26 April, UN Women will monitor the polls for violence against women in real-time.
UN Women, in partnership with the Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA), has been following such violence in Nigeria since the start of the elections process in 2011, in which more than 500 people have died as a result of electoral violence following the country’s presidential elections earlier this month.
The monitoring is part of an ongoing pilot study and initiative in Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe to track real-time incidents of violence against women in politics.
During polling days, trained volunteers use a toolkit to make phone calls from a designated hub to collect real-time information on violence against women from accredited elections observers and monitors who are out in the field. When such instances of violence against women are reported, UN Women links victims with various response mechanisms, including state institutions and civil society. UN Women also connects these women with the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) to provide them with various pro bono services.
The report of findings from the pilot study is expected to feed into the final reports on the elections by both national and international observers.