Next Election: Edo Governorship Elections-21st September 2024


Election Management Bodies (EMBs) are central actors in promoting women’s electoral and political participation. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a gender responsive EMB is committed to facilitating an electoral process that is gender inclusive and a reference point for best practices. It sees the issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment as crucial to bridging gaps in the electoral system and is resolved to contribute and implement several measures to improve inclusion of women in the electoral process. Some targeted strategies employed by INEC to create an inclusive electoral process that enables women and young females to fully participate and contribute to democratic governance are:

  1. The INEC Gender Policy: The INEC Gender Policy is a critical document that outlines the Commission’s commitment to promoting gender equality and enhancing the popular participation of women in the electoral process as a fundamental principle of democracy and electoral integrity. It acknowledges the legal and international frameworks that support gender equality and women’s rights, including constitutional provisions, international conventions, and regional agreements. It commits INEC to uphold these legal obligations and integrate gender considerations into its policies, operations, and processes.

The Commission, in striving to implement the objectives of the INEC Gender Policy, has been working with Gender Desk Officers in the 36 states and FCT, and the Inter-Departmental Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the INEC Gender Policy, which is composed of Focal Officers from all Departments and Directorates of the Headquarters. Their efforts so far are commendable, and progress in this direction has been quite impressive.


  1. Gender Mainstreaming: INEC integrates gender considerations into all aspects of its electoral undertakings and operations. Staff engagement on gender mainstreaming at all levels ensures that the specific needs and concerns of women and young females are addressed and accommodated throughout the electoral cycle.


  1. Gender-Sensitive Voter Education: INEC conducts voter education programmes specifically tailored to women and young females, focusing on their rights, importance of their political participation, and how they can engage effectively in the electoral process. These programmes, such as grassroot sensitization of women at the Local Government level, market outreaches at Senatorial Districts, town hall meetings with women groups, civil society organizations and professional women at State level and engagement with young female voters at State level, address socio-cultural barriers and gender-specific challenges that hinder women’s and young females’ participation in the electoral process.


  1. Capacity Building Programs: INEC conducts capacity building programs aimed at enhancing the political leadership and advocacy skills of women and young females within and outside the Commission. These programs include training workshops and mentorship initiatives, to empower women and young females in taking up leadership roles in politics.


  1. Quota Systems and Affirmative Action: INEC holds dialogues with political parties to ensure their candidate nomination rules do not discriminate against women and advocate for the implementation of quota systems towards achieving 35% Affirmative Action as stipulated by the National Gender Policy (2006) to increase the representation of women and young females in elected offices.

The use of recruitment and promotion processes to achieve gender balance within the Commission is a laudable initiative by INEC to intentionally increase the number of female staff at leadership positions within the Commission.


  1. Partnerships with Stakeholders: INEC collaborates with civil society organizations, women’s groups, youth organizations, development partners and other stakeholders to promote women’s and young females’ political participation. These partnerships mostly involve joint initiatives to sensitize, and raise awareness about women’s and young females’ rights, advocate for policy reforms, and support women and young female candidates. It was on this platform that the Commission assembled some collaborating MDAs to create the Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the INEC Gender Policy. This committee is mandated amongst other things, to be an advisory body on the implementation of the Policy, assist in advocacy for wide acceptance of the Policy amongst stakeholders, provide technical assistance, and facilitate exchange of information and publications on gender and electoral system.


  1. Research and Data Collection: INEC conducts research and collects sex disaggregated data on women politicians as aspirants and candidates, voter registrants, and voters to better understand the barriers they face and identify effective strategies for increasing their inclusion. This research informs the design and implementation of policies and programs aimed at promoting gender equality and youth empowerment in politics.


Also, INEC conducts staff audits of the Commission, which serve as a baseline to provide existing information, identify gender gaps and monitor any progress in closing gender gaps and needs, upon which other interventions could be adopted for the achievement of gender balance at all levels.


As of June, 2023 the Commission recorded a total of 31.6% female staff to 68.4% male staff nationwide. In June 2024, it recorded a total of 45.5% female to 54.5% male amongst the directors.



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is committed to ensuring equal opportunities and non-discrimination for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in all aspects of the electoral process. This report outlines INEC’s compliance with the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act of 2018 and highlights its efforts to create an inclusive electoral process.


The Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act of 2018 mandates equal treatment and accessibility for PWDs. INEC recognizes the importance of inclusion and has taken deliberate steps to promote accessibility and participation for PWDs in the electoral process.


  1. Commitment to Inclusivity/Key Initiations:

INEC is committed to fostering an inclusive electoral process. The goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, can contribute to and participate in the electoral process.


  1. Framework on Access and Participation of Persons With Disabilities in the Electoral Process:

INEC developed and adopted the Framework on Access and Participation of Persons With Disabilities in the Electoral Process in September 2018. This framework outlines guidelines and strategies to enhance accessibility for PWDs during elections.


  1. Assistive Devices:

INEC procures assistive devices to facilitate the participation of all the clusters of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in elections. These devices help to ensure independent and seamless voting for PWDs. Examples include:

  1. Braille Ballot Guide for persons with visual impairment
  2. Magnifying glasses for persons with albinism and partial blindness
  • Written Instruction Poster (EC30 PWD) for the hearing impaired
  1. Sign language interpretation at major events and final collation centres
  2. Accessible polling units, especially for those that are physically challenged
  3. Priority during voting

In addition, the Commission conducts series of trainings, sensitization, mobilization, and engagement programmes to get all the stakeholders (internal and external) to understand and be involved in the use and deployment of assistive devices, as well as mainstreaming of disability issues.

  1. Collaboration with Development Partners:

In achieving some of the interventions, INEC collaborates with organizations of Persons With Disabilities, Civil Society Organisations, Joint National Association of Persons With disabilities (JONAPWD) and Development Partners.


  1. Personnel with Disabilities:

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken significant steps to promote inclusivity by employing several Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to serve as Ad-Hoc staff and Election Observers during elections. The Commission also has staff members who are Persons With Disabilities.

As of June 2024, the statistics of Commission staff with diverse types of disabilities is one hundred and eight (108); Male 89 and Female 19.

It is important to note that some staff with disabilities prefer not to be identified as Persons With Disabilities.

  1. Conclusion

The Commission, as a responsive Election Management Body, is committed to the inclusive participation of all marginalized groups in the electoral process, irrespective of their ability status. For this reason, the Commission is consistently in compliance with local, regional, and international conventions and legal documents that promote the inclusion of women and Persons With Disabilities in the electoral process, as well as increase their political awareness and participation.


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