Women often lag behind in terms of participation during the elections. They have to be mobilized and voice their causes.–By Yves Didier Irakoze
“Women do not participate massively during elections. Even if they are mobilized by their political parties, it’s for the small interest and not for important programs. They are easily manipulated and with sometimes empty promises. It’s so frustrating,” points out Cathérine Mabobori, an Independent Consultant. She says that they want women to be educated on how to claim for their rights and if they are elected, they have to execute programs in order to help effectively those who elected them.
“We realized that there are signs of electoral violence like political restrictions, violence by some youth organizations of some political parties… Women are not also spared; they fear that they may be abused. This hampers women participation in political matters. That is the reason why we want to protect women against electoral violence that can occur and become an obstacle for their effective participation,” highlights Mabobori.
She says that they work with women organizations like Dushirehamwe Association, “Association des Guides du Burundi, “Association pour la Promotion de la Fille Burundaise” and “Solidarité des Femmes Parlémentaires (SOFEPA)” to achieve this mission. We organize workshops on non violent communication and observation of elections so that they can in turn sensitize other women.
“We proceed to mutual building capacity and other activities are underway in order to invite women to take part in decision-making spheres that influence them in their good causes,” declares Mabobori.
Everyone is concerned
“The youths are the most targeted group involved in violence. They are manipulated and used in violence. Unfortunately, they end up in jail or pay for their acts whereas they were used by political parties or other people who later abandoned them. Then, it’s up to mothers, sisters, aunts and all women to stand up and do something not to let them be involved ignorantly in violence in this period on the eve of the 2015elections,” states Mabobori.
According to her, women should know that they are the ones who pay more for the bad behavior or violence of the youth.
Mabobori also requests political actors to bear in mind that it’s better to fight for power peacefully. They have to know that they won’t stay on power eternally and the most important thing is to hold it and achieve praiseworthy acts.