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March 1, 2024
You are currently viewing Forum tasks NASS on reopening, passage of gender equality opportunity bill

Forum tasks NASS on reopening, passage of gender equality opportunity bill

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By Justina Auta

The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF), has appealed to the 10th National Assembly to reopen conversation to promote the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunity (GEO) Bill into law.

The National Coordinator, NFF, Mrs Blessing Duru, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Abuja.

Duru explained that revisiting conversations around the GEO bill would further educate the society on its role and the impact it would make in the lives of women and girls in Nigeria.

She explained that the bill sought to institutionalise the protection and rights of human beings, as well as ensured a level playing ground for everyone to participate actively in all areas irrespective of sex.

“The gender equal opportunity bill is a framework that articulates issues around women and girls.

“And it is a necessity to pass such a law in our country so that the issues around women and girls can be addressed holistically using a national framework.

“These issues should be seen as a national one and given the platform to also participate as places where national agendas, decisions are being made. That also impact in our lives as well,” she said.

The coordinator added that the bill would also eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and ensured equal opportunities for everyone.

According to her, advocacies are on-going to enlighten the public, particularly women groups, rural and grassroots persons on the GEO bill, its impacts and benefits if passed into law.

“Rural women will have a lot of benefit from this. They have a lot of benefits, because like I mentioned, the provisions in this bill represents the Nigerian women, their issues, concerns and their fears.

“So, passing the bill into law automatically begins to address their issues, gives them hope and trust that Nigerian government actually hears them.

“It will also give them hope that the government is also interested in ensuring that we create a safe enabling environment for everyone including the woman in the rural as well.”

On the role of the media in the advocacies, Duru said that some journalists were recently trained on the tenets of the GEO to enable them highlights it in their work for reintroduction at 10th NASS.

She said: “The media has a critical role to play in advocating for the passage of this bill into law.

“Now that we have the 10th Assembly, the media should push the conversation for the reopening of the bill so that they can priorities it for discussion at the various meetings that they will be having.”

She, therefore, implored the media to disseminate vital and accurate information to the public that would ignite public discourse.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gender equality bill had earlier passed the second reading at the 9th NASS in 2023, but was discarded as they couldn’t secure the required majority vote.

The five gender bills include: Bill to provide special seats for women at National Assembly, Affirmative action for women in political party administration- 35 per cent of executive positions, another bill sought to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of a Nigerian woman.

Others are bill on indigenship- married women should have a choice on state of origin and the bill seeking inclusion of at least ten per cent affirmative action in favour of women in Ministerial appointments. (NAN)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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