Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill

Earlier this year, Nigeria senators tossed out the proposed bill that was put together by well-meaning Nigerians on the ground that the bill was not in line with Nigeria culture/religion. Yesterday and today, I learnt that the bill did not pass the second reading. From what I read we have a document with significant edits to the one that was presented in March this year. gender_and_equal_opportunities_bill_national

Edits to the original proposed bill means that section 19 of the original document about moving the age of marriage to 18 years old so that both parties involved in a relationship are mature enough to consent to the union is now out of the window.

To that I say; only last week was Alhaji Dangote soliciting for international help to feed the internally displaced people in the northeast. Amongst many things he spoke about was the recent 9 year old girl marriage event he witnessed. Aftermaths of childbride have never being the problem of the north alone, it is all of our problem,

Here is where I am hoping our traditional leaders in the south can pull their weights and  lend voices to important issue.

There are so many things going on in Nigeria that at times when we take a step forward, somehow the leaders tend to find a way to drag some topics that makes one feel we are taking 10 steps backwards.

Here is a new one for today, and reason I hope Nigeria women home and diaspora need to get involved in whatever way that we can to stop NASS as they seem not to realise this is insanity.

As it stands now, my children have Nigeria citizenship because I am a Nigerian, being a woman did not stop that however, if the edited GEOBill got passed, Nigeria women married to non Nigerians will no longer be able to apply for citizenship through their mother.

Why is this new addition?

A few years ago a friend of mine from Senegal shared her story of fighting against similar law in Senegalese constitution that prohibits children having citizenship through mothers. They collected lots of signatures with many influential progressive citizens lending their voices, in the end, Senegalese government did the right thing and as of September 2014, children can claim citizenship from their mother. If we were to cite religion for this new addition – Senegal is 94% Muslim, yet they see the light.

It is shameful enough that in 2016 we are stuck in the past on gender equality issues but to think that the Senate are debating on stripping women of the little human rights should really bother every Nigerian.

12 thoughts on “Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill

  1. The senate are showing their true colours, ie completely selfish and greedy. Not only do they want fence off what they are helping themselves too, they want to make the lives of the people they represent worse.
    I can’t blame them, after all they are elected, until those who elect them think before voting – things will continue to deteriorate.
    This seems like an all out attack on women’s rights per se. Why do they hate/fear women so much? Do they not have mothers, sisters, aunts etc?
    Now they want to strip Nigerians of their rights, by forbidding those in the diaspora who are eligible to claim Nigerian nationality through their mother. What is their problem?
    It seems Nigerians are oblivious to the antics of the senate like the Philippinos are towards their president, who has been in office a little over 78 days and already 2000 people are dead as a direct result of his policies.
    People have to realise that voting is a serious affair, voting for people who are inflicting suffering (ie child marriage) or are stripping people of their rights – are symptomatic of where the senate and the like will lead the nation. It is quite clear the senate and the law makers are not progressive in any way shape or form, the result is that Nigeria will continuously lose ground when compared to other nations (even African nations).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done FK. I tried reading the bill, but its a long one and all the legal english. U mentioned NASS, shebi they are meant to represent us for good? How do we ever get them to listen?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. That’s right, the bill is quite long I didn’t read the whole thing either. “How do we get them to listen?” I think before now and the 20th we should all just use our medium to talk about this in all gatherings and the implications it will have on women many generations to come. The hope is to get the women in powerful positions to join in as this will affect us all.


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