A bill to entrench gender equality and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women scaled through second reading in the Senate on Thursday.
Sponsor of the bill , Senator Abiodun Olujimi, in her presentation, explained that Nigeria has not been fair to women in the appointment into offices, adding that they have been discriminated against as well.
She noted that the nation is a signatory to various United Nations charters on rights of women in Africa, but regretted that such rights have been breached.
She stated that if the bill scales through as envisaged, it would domesticate the various treaties to the effect that the 35% affirmation of women will bring them into the mainstream of governance.
“A Bill for an Act to incorporate and enforce certain provisions of the United Nations Convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the protocol to African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights of Women in Africa and other matters,” Olujimi submitted.
She also averred that Nigeria must be in the forefront championing the cause of Women’s rights in Africa, stressing that other nations of the world were waiting to see what African countries would do to utilise the potentials inherent in women.
In his contribution on the debate, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (APC) Osun, expressed support for the bill, explaining that Women were naturally about 50 per cent of men’s population, hence, any discrimination against them was a discrimination against God.
Adeyeye added that culture has oppressed women for long, while urging the Senate to ensure the protection of Women’s rights.
“Mr. President, I rise to enthusiastically support this bill, the worst form of discrimination is gender discrimination and the Senate must ensure their rights, even as their population was half of that of their male counterpart,” he noted.
Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Binta Mashi insisted that 35% affirmation of Women as captured in the constitution must be implemented, decrying that they were not adequately represented in elective and appointive offices.
“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended stipulates 35% affirmation and equal representation in the Federal Character, but as we speak that has not been done. ”
“Women are supposed to support men, but administratively they were supposed to work hand I hand with men,” Binta maintained.
Recall that following Senate’s earlier rejection of the bill seeking gender equality, sponsored by the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Biodun Olujimi, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki had advised Nigerian women to re-introduce the Gender Equality Bill turned down by the Upper Chamber over alleged constitutional violations.