- As the world battle the COVID-19 pandemic, women and children remain vulnerable to the effects of the virus
- This has prompted legislative action on COVID-19 from an inclusive women perspective
- Nigerian female legislators are ensuring there is a balanced gender perspective amid the crisis
As Nigeria continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, a webinar hosted recently by Yiaga Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement with six female legislators from state houses of assemblies discussed possible legislative action on the viral disease.
Legit.ng gathered that the meeting provided an opportunity to get insight into the actions taken by female legislators and the importance of a balanced gender perspective amid the crisis.
Female lawmakers at their respective assemblies supported passage of legislation to protect its citizens and state from the spread of COVID-19.
One of such decisions is the closure of borders to prevent entry into or exit out of the state.
They also embarked on massive sensitization of their constituents and distribution of hand sanitizers, washing buckets and detergents while some lawmakers took a step further by reaching out to elderly and vulnerable with food and monetary palliatives.
Speaking during the meeting hosted on zoom, Hon. Binta Mamman from Niger state made a clarion call saying, “we are representative of the people; they came out to vote for us. This is the time we need to show our constituents that we care about them.”
She called for collective effort between both legislative and executive arm of government to provide support for citizens while also calling for legislation that will improve the lives of citizens.
Hon. Nwachukwu Chinwe Lillian from Ebonyi also shared the effort made by the legislative arm of government in the state, saying legislators have passed a law to backing all the COVID-19 precautionary measures and regulations to combat the pandemic.
According to her, the law also criminalizes artificial hike and hoarding of essential food and services to stem the economic effect of the pandemic.
“This is in addition to submitting our April salaries to the fight against the pandemic,” she revealed.
On her part, Hon. Atinuke Christianah Bello, Chief whip of Ogun state house of assembly said: “I raised a billboard in my constituency with information that COVID-19 is real, showing symptoms, precautionary measures and numbers to call for information.
“I also distributed a total of 4,000 pieces of sanitizers to market, churches, mosques and individuals.
“I have identified elderly vulnerable people and gave them at least 10,000 to stem the effect of economic hardship.”
Not too Young To Run strategy team members led by Yiaga Africa’s director of programs, Cynthia Mbamalu, Chioma Chuka, Nana Nwachukwu, Bella, Yetunde Bakare, Anne Ndubuisi and Ibrahim Faruk urged the lawmakers to document and amplify the impacts they have made in this period.
The female lawmakers were also urged to distinguish themselves by being intentional in their interventions especially targeted at women as women remain more victims of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Muktar Betara, recently donated palliatives to his constituents in Biu, Bayo, Kwaya-kusar and Shani local government areas of Borno state.
The palliatives which include truckloads of rice were donated to the people in the four local governments on Friday, April 24.
Betara who represents Bayo, Biu, Shani and Kwaya Kusar in the green chambers, said the palliatives amounting to N80 million were aimed at alleviating their hardship arising from the lockdown ordered by the state government because of COVID-19.
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