19 July 2008

Nigeria: Nudity Bill - Nigeria's Worst Moment At the UN

Nigeria last week suffered its worst embarrassment in history on the floors of the United Nation's Assembly, Saturday Vanguard has learnt.

The issue was not just that among all the world delegates that attended the one day conference, Nigeria had the largest turn out which the UN described as the largest ever in its history, the country was also highly criticised and roundly ridiculed both for the the number of delegates and triviality of the Nudity Bill at the National Assembly.

The world delegates completely ignored the bill.

Throughout the session Nigeria was ridiculed and criticised, the largest delegate country led by the Women Affairs Minister, presenter of the bill and Senator Eme Ufot Ekaette, could not utter a word in defence of the country. In fact when she spoke, Ekaette was said to have spoken on other matters but not the Nudity Bill, a UN source told Saturday Vanguard.

Ironically, Ekaette and the delegates were at the UN to push for her bill which has made two successful outings on the floor of the Senate. The Nudity Bill prescribes three months imprisonment for ladies who display their belly buttons, breasts or wear mini skirts in public places.

The first international attack against the bill was said to have come from Glenda Simms, an expert from Jamaica who expressed disagreement with the bill by asking, "What was that about nudity? Would the police go around with a tape measure to check the length of clothes or see if a breast was exposed?

Women had a right to aesthetics of their bodies and the right to present themselves any way they wanted. A woman's body was the only piece of real estate on which she owed no mortgage. Dress codes were about power and dressing a woman from head to toe was a form of rape."

This was said to have been followed by Meriem Belmihoub's ridicule. An expert from Algeria, Meriem noted the large turn out of women in Nigeria's delegation for a one-day session and hoped that women were as represented at the federal level of Nigeria's political life and governance, especially in appointment positions.

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