Gender Equality Bill passes second reading in Senate
Story from Vivian DANIEL, Abuja
The Nigerian Senate passed the Gender Bill for its second reading on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023.
The bill aims to eradicate all forms of discrimination against women and individuals living with disabilities.
Once enacted, it will also help remove barriers hindering women’s equal access to financial credit, technical assistance, family benefits, and other aspects of cultural life.
Senator Biodun Olujimi, who represents Ekiti South and sponsors the bill, emphasized that its enactment would motivate women to aspire and achieve their full potential.
She highlighted the existence of both overt and subtle forms of discrimination that limit women’s entry into various formal spheres of work.
In 2021, Olujimi was asked to withdraw the legislation when some of her colleagues argued that it contradicted their socio-cultural and religious beliefs.
The “Gender and Equality Opportunities Bill,” as described by Olujimi, seeks to implement Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. It aims to ensure equal opportunities for all individuals.
“This bill addresses various issues affecting men and women in their constituencies, such as land ownership, inheritance, education, employment, and the increasing incidents of sexual and gender-based violence in private and public spaces, including educational institutions,” Olujimi stated.
She also mentioned that the bill builds upon the Senate’s previous passage of legislation on sexual violence in higher institutions in Nigeria.
It aims to provide protection against abuse and exploitation for girls, women, and men in schools.