GENEVA (22 October 2018) – UN human rights experts* are 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.
Reports of irregularities in primaries in states around Nigeria include reports of party and election officials excluding women candidates from candidate lists, denying them access to essential information regarding the election, and cancelling and rescheduling primaries, allegedly with the sole purpose of excluding women candidates.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to fully investigate these allegations and to ensure that women candidates who have been unfairly or illegally excluded are given access to appropriate remedies,” the experts said. “We also urge the authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that such irregularities are not present in the next phase of elections.”
There have also been reports of widespread intimidation, blackmail and violent attacks against women candidates and their supporters. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of violence and intimidation to try to keep women out of politics,” the experts said. “Perpetrators of such violence must be brought to justice.”
*The UN experts: Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Ms. Elizabeth Broderick, Ms. Alda Facio, Ms. Ivana Radačić (Chair), Ms. Meskerem Geset Techane (Vice Chair), Ms. Melissa Upreti, Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.
Click here to read the full article published by OHCHR on 22 October 2018.