Nigeria Won’t Get Better Unless Gender Equality Is Seen as a Solution, Says Ndi Kato

Nigeria Won’t Get Better Unless Gender Equality Is Seen as a Solution, Says Ndi Kato

  • Political analyst, Ndi Kato has said Nigeria won't get better unless gender equality is at the front-burner of political discourse
  • Kato, the Executive Director of Dinidari Foundation, said women must be given the chance to participate in governance
  • The human rights activist who is also a former aspirant for Kaduna state House of Assembly was reacting to recent rejection of the gender quality bill by the National Assembly

FCT, Abuja - The Executive Director of Dinidari Africa, Ndi Kato says Nigeria would only be better when laws that enable the rights of women to survive, freely participate in governance and decision-making are given priority.

Kato said this while reacting to the rejection of about five gender-related bills by lawmakers during the Constitution Amendment at the National Assembly on Tuesday, March 1.

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Ndi Kato
Ndi Kato lamented that some male politicians are not interested in Nigerian women's rights. Photo credit: The Future Project
Source: Facebook

According to her, the action has further shrunk the space for women’s participation in governance and decision-making.

Speaking on a political programme on African Independent Television, she said:

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“The action of these lawmakers would live with every Nigerian woman for the rest of our lives. You could see the excitement with which the no’s were said. These are our rights and issues that would encourage women's participation in politics. Just look at the way they were treated.
“From the quality of law-making, you can see that things are lopsided, and this is affecting Nigeria as a country. Women make up over 50% of our population and these people are disenfranchised and their rights are not guaranteed.
“Who would the indigeneship and 35% affirmative action in the political parties hurt? It's enraging to see that Nigerian men do not want to hear anything that has to do with women's rights.

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“You can draw a straight line from the quality of lives of women (especially in the north) and the insurgency we are facing today. Countries where women are included in decision-making, given equal representation, and their rights guaranteed, are better than ours.
“Until gender equality and equity are considered as a possible solution to our problem, things will not get better.”

She further noted that the rejection of these gender bills has pushed back years of efforts by female lawmakers, lobbyists, and activists.

Her words:

“There's been so much work, by both local and international organisations, to ensure that these bills get passed. Mrs. Aisha Buhari and Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo were at the National Assembly because of these bills.
“Look at how it went. We have explored all nonviolent means to get these bills passed. The only things on the table are violence and bribery.”

Kato urged the National Assembly to revisit the gender bills before the document is transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.

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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.

The bill failed after both chambers of the national assembly voted against 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.


Jerrywright Ukwu avatar

Jerrywright Ukwu Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at

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