Again, Senate steps down Gender Equality Bill

THE Senate has, again, stepped down a bill meant to create equal opportunities for both the male and female genders in the country.

Biodun Olujimi, a senator from Ekiti State, sponsored the proposed bill entitled, ‘A bill for an Act to make provisions for the empowerment of women and gender equality and to establish a legislative framework for the empowerment of women.’

According to Olujimi, the bill was meant to bring together all aspects of laws and implementation of laws relating to women empowerment and address issues on the appointments and representation of women in decision-making, positions and structures.

Some senators spoke against the bill on Wednesday. Their argument against it, just like in the Eight Senate, was that it would offend the sensibilities of a particular religion and make it unimplementable in some parts of the country.

The bill had earlier been stepped down by the  Eight Senate.

However, a few other senators wanted the bill to go for a second reading but their views were rejected.

It became a heated debate, and Senate President Ahmad Lawan had to intervene, Lawan said the sponsor should consult widely and present the bill again after considering areas of serious concerns raised by the lawmakers.

He then ruled that the bill be stepped down to give room for further discussions.

The Nigerian Senate had, in March 2016,  rejected a similar bill designed to grant women the same marital rights as their husbands.

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