16 March 2016

Nigeria: Gender Equality Bill 'Will Be Reintroduced' - Saraki

Photo: Isiyaku Ahmed
Facilitator Hasiya Mohammed presents geography lessons at City Women's Center in Kano.

Senate President Bukola Saraki has advised Nigerian women to re-introduce the Gender Equality Bill, which was turned down by the National Assembly on Tuesday.

This is contained in a statement signed by Fatima Kakuri, Special Assistant on Gender and Equality to the President of the Senate and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

The bill seeking gender equality, sponsored by the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Biodun Olujimi, was rejected by the Senate over alleged constitutional violations.

Mr. Saraki said although the bill had suffered setback, it could still be amended and re-introduced.

"Unfortunately, the bill suffered a slight setback because there were some parts of the bill that some senators disagreed with along the lines of religion and tradition.

"The beauty of democracy is that it gives us the opportunity to consider different opinions and this bill can still be represented and reconsidered on the floor of the Senate.

"I have it on good authority that Sen. Biodun Olujimi, who introduced this bill, will reintroduce it after re-drafting it to address some of the reservations that were expressed on the floor of the Senate.

"As I said during the International Women's Day last week, I am of the opinion that there are substantial parts of the bill that are crucial to the development of our nation.

"Such bills like the Equal Access to Education, Strengthening of the laws on Violence against Women, Ending Abduction of Girls, Sustenance and Promotion of Entrepreneurship Opportunities, Gender Mainstreaming and Gender equality are equally important," he said.

NAN reports that this was the third time the Gender Equality Bill would be rejected by the National Assembly, and the recent rejection has generated a lot of reactions from women groups. (NAN)

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