Controversial Gender Equality Bill that was thrown out in March at the Senate has been re-presented by its sponsor, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South).
The Bill which scaled through first reading during yesterday’s plenary has been renamed as, “Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, 2016 (SB. 301).
The Bill was tagged in March as,” An Act to incorporate and enforce certain provisions of the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the protocol to the African charter on human and people’s rights on the rights of women in Africa”.
It would be recalled that the Bill which was rejected in March, sought for equal rights for women in marriage, divorce, property/ land ownership and inheritance was thrown out and was also rejected in 6th and 7th Senate, respectively.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki advised Nigerian women to re-introduce the Bill, which was turned down by the National Assembly
Saraki then said although the Bill had suffered setback, it could still be amended and re-introduced.
“Unfortunately, the bill suffered a slight setback because there were some parts of the bill that some senators disagreed with along the lines of religion and tradition.
“The beauty of democracy is that it gives us the opportunity to consider different opinions and this bill can still be represented and reconsidered on the floor of the Senate.
“I have it on good authority that Sen. Biodun Olujimi, who introduced this bill, will reintroduce it after re-drafting it to address some of the reservations that were expressed on the floor of the Senate.
“As I said during the International Women’s Day last week, I am of the opinion that there are substantial parts of the bill that are crucial to the development of our nation.
“Such bills like the Equal Access to Education, Strengthening of the laws on Violence against Women, Ending Abduction of Girls, Sustenance and Promotion of Entrepreneurship Opportunities, Gender Mainstreaming and Gender equality are equally important,” he said.

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