Rejection of Gender Bills: Women Groups List 5 Implications for NASS Action

Rejection of Gender Bills: Women Groups List 5 Implications for NASS Action

  • By rejecting the gender bills, the men of the 9th National Assembly have been accused of taking Nigerian women backward
  • Over 100 female support groups in a statement said the actions of the federal lawmakers undermine the importance and relevance of women’s contribution to governance
  • The groups called on the National Assembly to re-present the bills as a matter of urgency and ensure that they are passed

FCT, Abuja - Nigerian women have said they are disappointed and aggrieved at the actions of the 9th National Assembly (NASS) which denied women the opportunity of inclusion and representation in governance by voting against the gender bills.

The Lawan-led Senate and their counterparts in the House of Reps rejected the bill. Photo credit: @NGRSenate
Source: Twitter

In a statement sent to on Tuesday, March 1 by over 100 support groups, the Nigerian women noted that:

“The NASS has spoken loud and clear that they do not want progress for society: for mothers, aunties, sisters, wives, and for daughters.

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“It is particularly sad that in a month globally dedicated to celebrating women worldwide, our NASS has chosen to deny women basic human rights. These are rights enjoyed by every Nigerian except women.

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“The proposed gender bills in the 5th Constitution Alteration Bills that were all rejected are Bills targeted at addressing the current gender imbalance across the legislative arm of governments across the country whilst reducing the under-representation of women in political office.”

The Nigerian women also said men of the 9th NASS have reinforced the discrimination and political bias against women as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

They listed five ways NASS discriminate against them to include:

1. Denying citizenship to a foreign-born husband of a Nigerian woman. (While it allows Nigerian men's foreign-born wives to be awarded automatic citizenship).

2. Denying Nigerian women indigeneity through marriage.

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3. Denying 35% appointed positions for women and settling for 20%.

4. Denying women affirmative action in party administration and leadership.

5. Denying specific seats for women in the National Assembly.

The groups added:

“Nigerian women, therefore, demand that all gender Bills be reconsidered. Ultimately, our demands will benefit not just women but Nigeria as a whole. More women in governance will only bring progress, and respect for Nigeria in the committee of nations.”

The groups include TechHer, Dinidari Foundation, Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls, Fame Foundation, Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation, Arise Nigerian Woman Foundation, Bring Back Our Girls, Centre for Nonviolence and Gender Advocacy in Nigeria, Centre for Women’s Health and Information, Christian Women in Nigerian Politics, Community Women Initiatives among others.

How the National Assembly rejected the proposed gender bill had earlier reported that the National Assembly rejected a constitutional bill seeking to create special seats for women in the federal legislative arm of government.

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The bill failed after both chambers of the national assembly voted on it on Tuesday, March 1.

It is titled ‘Bill For an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for special seats for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; and for related matters.’

Nigerian women groups storm National Assembly over rejection of gender bills

Meanwhile, the gate leading to the National Assembly complex was blocked by some protesting Nigerian women on Tuesday, March 2.

The protesters expressed anger over the outcome of the voting exercise on the bill seeking to give women more seats at NASS.

Lawmakers at the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 1, rejected the bill, leading to outcries from across the country.


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