Elections have engendered violence in many African countries including Nigeria, where elections over the years have been characterized by violence ranging from acts of assaults to political assassination. Violence and the perception or fear of violence have been the major deterrent to women’s active participation and engagement in politics in Africa’s largest democracy. Women’s representation continued to dwindle. Even though the country had an affirmative action legislation for women’s political participation, the enabling environment needed to ensure it actualization was non-existent.
Nigeria experienced negative peace in the period leading up to the 2015 general elections. Tensions built up from the primaries to the campaign period and especially after the postponement of the presidential elections from 14th February to March 28th 2015. This became a cause of major concern for women’s organisation as an enabling environment for women to participate and be represented in the elections was very critical to the process. It became crucial then for the need to adopt an integrated approach for women’s substantive political participation to become a reality.
This integrated approach warranted the need for the Women Situation Room in Nigeria as it builds on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 in its implementation process.