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Nigerian Senate takes on Gender Equality as equal rights bill surfaces

A bill seeking gender equality that would guarantee women equal rights with their male counterparts has resurfaced in the Senate.

The bill which is being reintroduced by former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ekiti South seeks to eliminate discrimination against any person irrespective of his gender on any ground including sexual violence against women.

The Bill in line with parliamentary proceedings has been introduced and read the first time.

After the introduction of the Bill entitled, ” Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, 2019(SB.208) by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North, the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewor affirmed it.

The Bill also seeks to permit women to have equal rights with men in marriage, education and employment.

Recall that Senator Olujimi had in the 8th Senate brought forward a similar Bill.

Unfortunately, the Bill was thrown out of the Senate plenary, when it was presented for consideration, just as the Bill had scaled second reading September 2016.

Also recall that Senator Olujimi had reintroduced the bill after it was rejected in October 2015, when some Northern Senators vehemently kicked against it‎ on the grounds that it was in conflict with their religious and cultural beliefs.

According to Olujimi, the also sought to eliminate discrimination against any person irrespective of his gender on any ground including sexual violence against women.

According to Olujimi, gender discrimination often makes women insecure, denies them meaningful employment and exposes them to discrimination and exploitation.

She had said: “The fact that disparity of gendered pricing still exists within today’s society shows that women still continue to be disempowered in many aspects of economic life.

Olujimi who took time to defend the Bill then, had explained that the bill did not seek to undermine‎ the beliefs of the Nigerians but it was to create equal opportunities for women, adding, ”It seeks to promote equality and development of all persons in Nigeria.