by Ayo Opeoluwa
The Gender equality bill has been referred to the committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters after scaling through the second reading.
The bill which was reintroduced to the house by senator Abiodun Olujimi representing Ekiti south was first introduced by the same Senator last year October, 2015, but it was rejected by majority of the members on the grounds of their religious and cultural beliefs. Senator Olujimi explained that the intention behind the bill is not to undermine the beliefs of Nigerians but to create equal opportunities for women.
According to her “It seeks to promote equality and development of all persons in Nigeria”
“It also prohibits all forms of violence against women, whether political, domestic, or cultural. It prohibits all forms of trafficking in women”
Senator Remi Tinubu on her part urged her colleagues to support the bill, in her words “We cannot undermine the role of women in the society” she continued that “some think I don’t shake men here maybe because of religious or cultural reasons. But I don’t shake men because I feel intimidated”
Senator Ekweremadu, the deputy senate president speaking on the bill said that some sections of the bill are already contained in the constitution, he suggested that those sections be looked into at the committee stage. Senator Olusola Adeyeye, the senate chief whip disagreed with him on this saying that affirmative laws were needed to address the problem of gender equality.
After a brief debate on the bill, the senate President, Bukola Saraki called for a voice vote and the senators voted for the bill to pass the second reading.