Elections are a critical time in any democratic society, and it is critical that everyone feels safe and secure while exercising their right to vote. Unfortunately, during elections, women frequently face unique challenges and risks, including harassment, physical violence, and even sexual violence.
As a result, it is critical for women to take precautions to protect themselves and remain safe during the election process. Women can help ensure a safe and successful voting experience by being aware of potential risks, planning ahead of time, and following some basic safety guidelines.
As the 2023 Nigerian general elections draw closer, it is important to be informed and prepared. Here are some tips for staying safe during election time:
- Stay Informed: Follow reputable news sources and verify information before sharing it. Avoid spreading false or misleading information, which can cause confusion and mass panic.
- Be prepared: Know your polling unit, understand the voting process, and familiarise yourself with the issues and candidates on the ballot.
- Avoid political discussions in public places: Political discourse can be passionate and heated, but it’s important to remember to respect others’ opinions and engage in peaceful and constructive discussions.
- Save relevant phone numbers of police stations within your community and register them in case of emergencies.
- Report any suspicious activity: If you witness any illegal or unethical behaviour at the polling unit, such as voter intimidation or interference, report it to the authorities immediately.
- Avoid large gatherings: In-person political rallies and demonstrations can be potential flashpoints for violence, so it’s best to avoid them. If you need to be in a crowded place, be extremely vigilant.
- Always carry a means of identification e.g., National Identity card, driver’s license, etc.
Remember, it is important to exercise your right to vote and participate in the democratic process but do so in a safe and responsible manner.