Leadership of the National Assembly of Nigeria has been urged to have the gender bills re-presented and re-considered as this would be the only way to address the current gender imbalance across the legislative arms of government and across the country.
ActionAid Nigeria, a human rights non-governmental organisation working to combat poverty and all forms of injustice in Nigeria, has called on the Nigerian National Assembly to substantiate her commitment to gender equality by re-presenting and re-considering the five (5) proposed Gender Bills in the 5th Constitution Alteration Bills that were rejected by both Houses of the National Parliament on 1st March 2022.
Ene Obi, the Country director, ActionAid while speaking in Abuja, said: “In line with this year’s theme, ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’, we had looked forward to really celebrating International Women’s Day 2022 because we thought it would mark a turnaround for Nigerian woman in politics, and a historic win in the struggle for women inclusion in decision making spaces, as the 2023 general election draw closer.
But Obi noted that the decision of the 9th National Assembly “has threatened the achievement of adequate women representation in governance, as they have outrightly demonstrated by their votes, that they do not want women inclusion in decision making.”
She also said, “If in 2022, we still have to argue for or against the pivotal role of women in governance, it means our leaders are deliberately resistant to change and still have a lot of learning to do.
“Thus, Nigeria needs to live up to her commitment to 35percent Affirmative Action on women inclusion across all arms of governance.
Upholding this will also increase the country’s credibility in the international community. An inclusive governance is only possible when women sit at the decision-making tables, contribute to planning and national development to find solutions to the many problems plaguing the nation such as climate change and insecurity.
No nation can progress with over 50percent of its population excluded from contributing to its development. Failure to recognise this is simply planning to fail from the beginning.”
The Country direction also said: “ActionAid Nigeria salutes Nigerian women for the continued struggle. As women, we shall never be intimidated by any insensitive decision; this even makes women grow stronger in the fight for a just society.
As we commemorate this day, let history have it that Nigerian women refused to stay quiet in the face of oppression and rights denial.
“This, once again, provides an opportunity to demonstrate oneness of voice. We salute the courage of women’s groups who swung into action since the rejection of the Bills, and we call on those yet to join to add their voices. We encourage the women to work and walk in solidarity, to keep the flag of womanhood flying, we are strengthened by the knowledge that this struggle is for posterity.”