There were protests by women across Nigeria, notably in Lagos, Enugu and Abuja, to mark International Women’s Day even as the House of Representatives on Tuesday rescinded its earlier rejection of five gender bills resolving to re-consider three of the bills soon. The women, backed by different Civil Society Groups gathered very early in the
There were protests by women across Nigeria, notably in Lagos, Enugu and Abuja, to mark International Women’s Day even as the House of Representatives on Tuesday rescinded its earlier rejection of five gender bills resolving to re-consider three of the bills soon.
The women, backed by different Civil Society Groups gathered very early in the morning at the gate of the National Assembly asking members of the National Assembly to reconsider the five gender bills rejected during their recent voting on the constitution amendment.
Women protests held simultaneously in Abuja, Enugu and at the Alausa seat of government in Lagos state. The two protests were attended in solidarity by wives of some state governors namely Mrs Fayemi, Mrs Udom-Emmanuel and Mrs Sanwoolu.
Essentially, the focus of the protests was on gender equality. One of the banners carried by the protesters says: The Constitution Women Want and listed the issues. Some men were also seen joining the women in solidarity and also addressed their gatherings.
Similar protests took place across the globe yesterday most of them protesting one form of discrimination or the other against women but using different themes all aligned to the United Nations theme of this year’s International Women’s Day which is Breaking the bias.
Protesters took to the streets worldwide for International Women’s Day on Tuesday with rallies in Pakistan defying security warnings and demonstrations in Europe urging solidarity with war-torn Ukraine. In Brussels, protesters held a “Women stand with Ukraine” rally, holding up a vast blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag.
In Paris, several thousands marched against gender violence and for equal pay in a rally headlined: “the feminist groundswell for equality”.
Bowing down to persistent pressure from women and general public, the House of Representatives, after an intensive Executive session, came out to announce that it will rescind its decision on three of the five gender related bills earlier rejected.
The three bills to be reconsidered are Bill 36 which hopes to “expand the scope of citizenship by registration;” Bill 37 which “provides for affirmative action for women in political party administration;” and Bill 38 which “provide criteria for qualification to become an indigene of a state in Nigeria.”
The House does not intend to revisit Bill 35which “provides for special seat for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly;” as well as Bill 68 which proposes “to give women a quota in the federal and state executive councils or ministerial and commissionership seats.”
The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila said that the three bills would be included in the second batch of amendment bills to be considered in about four weeks’ time.
The action of the Speaker who had initially tried to change the House cause of action before rejecting the bills was greeting by popular acclamations leading to a standing ovations.
Throwing more light on the Representatives actions, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs Hon. Benjamin Kalu said that Nigerians should know that the votes on the floor of the parliaments aggregate the views of the Representatives’ constituents.
He implored the women and indeed whoever wants any bill to sail through in the parliament to understand the need to lobby others to see their viewpoints and understand the issues being canvassed.