Posted by News Express | 7 March 2022 | 452 times
Women groups across the country have said the rejection of the gender bills in the ongoing amendments to the 1999 Constitution by members of the National Assembly, will draw women back by 20 years.
This is even as they have expressed their determination to continue to protest beginning with the mother of all protest on Tuesday, March 8th being the International Women’s Day commemoration.
The women called on First Ladies, Female Deputy Governors and other stakeholders sympathetic to the reconsideration of the gender bills to join protests across the country to drive home their demand.
Addressing a virtual press conference to discuss by Co-founder Womanifesto, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said the protest will continue to hold on the days the National Assembly has sittings.
She said: “It’s like the men have made up their minds to hold women in perpetual subjection. We have to reject this ill-treatment of women. Their failure to pass the gender bill confirms that they have no respect for womanhood, no respect for humanity.
“The fight is an ideological fight. We reject this discrimination, disdain attitude against this women.
So we will be there on March 8,9,10 and we will continue to occupy National Assembly until they respond to our demand.
“We are planning the mother of all protest on Tuesday.”
She also said the women’s groups said they will be naming and shaming of those that voted against the gender bills.
Akiyode-Afolabi, noted that Nigeria is lagging behind in domestication of protocols it is signatories to, adding that Nigeria has a woeful women representation in political and elective positions. At the National Assembly (comprising the Senate with 109 members and the House of Representatives with 360 members totaling 469 members of parliament), only 29 are women (six per cent of the total). They added that there are, however, 440 men at the Nigeria National Assembly. A low women representation in leadership positions amounts to denying half of Nigeria’s population the voice ans opportunity to contribute to governance and development.
The women therefore demand: “Urgent re-convening, reconsideration, and immediate passage of the five women/gender-related bills: Bills number 35, 36, 37, 38, and 68.
“The passing of the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEOB) Bill, currently before the senate.
“Resuscitation and the passage of the Bill on “Support for Women Participation in Elective and Appointive Positions Bill 2020 before the House of Representatives.
“Immediate Domestication of the African Charters Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which Nigeria ratified in 2004.
“Immediate domestication of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Nigeria ratified in 1985.
“Our resolve to continue this struggle is to push back on the misogynistic attitude of the NASS, the pattern of neglect of women concerns and disregard for womanity, severally women have been embarrassed by the gender insensitive practices of the law makers. The failure to address women issues through the gender bill shows that women are irrelevant.
“We reject further dehumanization of Nigerian Women. The constitution should cure the defect and we will continue to protest to show our dissatisfaction.
“We call on the Senate President and the Hon. Speaker to call an urgent meeting to discuss how to referees the wrong if not we shall continue to occupy the NASS.
“Also, a call on all Nigerian men and women to join the rally, we will also have simultaneous rallies in Lagos, Calabar and other major cities.” (Adopted from Daily Sun)
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