In a bid to tackle issues around gender equity in democratic processes, intensify voters’ registration, and promote better political participation of women in Cross River State with the 2023 general elections in focus, the Gender, and Development Action (GADA), took the initiative to strengthen the continuous voter registration exercise among women and young women in tertiary institutions in the metropolitan, through her “GET YOUR PVC AND VOTE” campaign which took off in late January 2022, providing technical support to help women and others register for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
Through a survey carried out by GADA during her activity to support women and bridge the gap; challenges around voters’ apathy, reluctance to register, long queues at INEC registration centers, and the inability of some women to navigate the INEC registration portal stood as factors that delayed registration. To ensure women’s participation in this exercise, strategic religious organizations were targeted due to their numerical strength and convergence in the Metropolis where women from parts of Cross River State and neighboring states such as Akamkpa, Biase, Yakuur, Ikom, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Uyo were accessible.
At the end of the exercise, a total number of 690 women and others were registered from late January 2022 to June 2022 before the online pre-registration ended, with over 2000 women reached through advocacy on voter education and encouragement to register for their PVC.
“It is a good thing you brought this to us, we have been reluctant about going to the INEC office for the registration, you have made it easy for us, God bless you for bringing it to our doorstep.” …. a beneficiary said.
“If you didn’t bring it here, I don’t think I would have had the time to go to the registration center to register to leave my business. Am glad I can register without any hassles.” another beneficiary expressed.
Through the WVL-N project, technical support provided by GADA included online new registrations, handing out handbills to the general public directing people to INEC’s portal for registration and biometric capture, information update, request for a new card, and transfer of polling unit.