Nigeria: Lawan Restates Commitment to Women's Rights, Pledges Support for GEO Bill

10 June 2021

The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, yesterday reiterated his commitment to advancing women's right and full participation in governance, just as he pledged support for the revised Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEO Bill).

In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday by Women Rights promoter and Radio Entrepreneur, Toun Okewale, Lawan made the commitment during a high-level advocacy visit by a group of UN women in Nigeria, to seek his support as co-sponsor of the revised Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOBill)

The team presented the revised GEO Bill, which has adopted recommendations that addressed initial objections. The GEOBill was revised by a Technical Working Committee established under the auspices of the office of Senator Abiodun Olujimi and United Nations Women chaired by Saudatu Mahdi.

The Senate president, who gave his support in principle, commended the team for strategically making the visit while the constitution is being reviewed.

He further assured them of his support and commitment to advancing women's right and full participation in governance.

According to Lawan, "Women make up half of Nigeria's population; therefore, they should not be denied the opportunity to serve government at all levels"

The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill was initially sponsored by Senator Abiodun Olujimi in 2015.

The advocacy visit included the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, represented by the Director-General, National Centre for Women Development, Dr. Asabe V. Bashir; UN Women Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey; Professor Joy Ezeilo, Ebere Ifendu, Princess Jummai Idonije, Olabukunola Williams, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, and the bill sponsor, Senator Olujimi

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