OrderPaperToday- The killing of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill on Tuesday at the Senate has been blamed on the dominance of chauvinistic senators who enjoy having women subjugated and suppressed under them.
Sponsor of the Bill, Senate Minority Whip, Mrs Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), who presented the proposal entitled, “A bill for 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 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the rights of women in Africa, and other matters connected therewith, 2016 (SB. 116)” was thoroughly disappointed at the outcome of the Bill.
In her reaction after Plenary, she lamented that the Equal Opportunities Bill had been killed each time it came up, accusing some male members of the Upper Chamber of orchestrating the demise of the bill because they plan to continue relegating and subjugating women.
She however, expressed optimism that the bill would one day pass into law, so that women could have their rightful place in the society.
She said: “This Equal Opportunities Bill has been coming in and out for quite some time and the men have been shooting it down. The idea is simple and all we wanted to do was to ensure that those covenants that Nigeria is a signatory to, is incorporated in our laws.
“For instance the procedure is assented to by Nigeria and that is the crux of this bill but most laws especially from a particular religion have a clash between their religion and what we mean by gender parity.
“In gender parity women must be equal to men and they find it not very palatable and that is the reason for the bill not passing each time it comes. This is not the first time it would be shot down; it has been shot down in the past but you see, we are trying to make a point that, as women we deserve to be recognised.
“I think at one point we would get it right because like every agitation when you keep agitating people refuse but at a point somebody will say let it be and I know we will get there.
“Well, we will go look at the equal opportunities bill because what we do was to bring out a section of it, it was not assented to by the last government that is why we decided to bring it out in portions. We would go and look at it again. We will go back to the drawing board and see how best we can still bring this gender parity issue on to the front burner.
“I don’t think it is the senate. I think there are pockets of people within the senate who do not want their women empowered, who do not believe that the time has come for a woman to be equal to a man and I think that is also for a short while, is getting shorter by the day. We will get there”, Olujimi said.