Senate rejects bill seeking women empowerment, gender equality

December 15, 2021
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For the third time from the 7th Senate , a seeking to promote women empowerment and gender equality, suffered setback from being passed for second reading Wednesday.

The bill, which was first brought during the 7th assembly, was killed both in the 7th and 8th Senate and it is likely to suffer the same fate again in the present 9th Senate.

Sponsored of the bill, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South), was forced to stand it down after some Senators, who kicked against the proposed legislation cited “socio-cultural and Islamic concerns.”

While leading debate on the bill, Senator Olujimi, said the legislation will help eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

She said: “This bill seeks to further strengthen section 42 of the constitution. It seeks to eliminate gender-based violence. This bill was read for the first time in 2019.

“It will allow for the domestication of all forms of discrimination against women. It will provide for the equality of all persons. If enacted, it will prohibit all forms of discrimination against women and persons living with disabilities.

“This bill will provide a legal basis and foundation upon which there will be formal, structured and institutional responses to prevent discrimination and provide for the rights of men and women, the equality of all persons and opportunities availed to all citizens- including people living with disability in Nigeria.”

But kicking against the bill, Senator Yusuf Yusuf (APC Taraba Central), said the equality of the male and female gender “infringes on the Qur’an.”

“This equality infringes on the Qur’an. I will not support the passage of the bill until the word equal is removed. When you bring equality into it, it infringes on the Qur’an.”

Also kicking against the bill, Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC Sokoto North), said equality is wrong when it comes to Islamic and socio-cultural practices.

He said: “When it comes to socio-cultural practices, it is wrong. When you talk of equity, it is okay. When you talk of equality, it is no. I will not support it.”

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