The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Senate to revisit the Nigerian Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill it dropped on Tuesday.
This is contained in a statement by Amb. Kema Chikwe, the party’s National Women Leader on Friday in Abuja.
Chikwe said it was important to revisit the bill, especially in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“On behalf of the entire PDP women, I join members of the civil society to express profound disappointment and displeasure over the dismissal of the Nigerian Gender and Equal Opportunities bill by the Senate.
“This regressive action ironically occurred at a critical time when the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conference is currently holding in New York, USA,’’ she said.
She commended the male senators, who made positive contributions in support of the bill, adding that the female senators fought hard but lost the battle.
“Women constitute more than 50 per cent of the population of the country; unfortunately, they are only a minute minority in both the National and State Houses of Assembly.
“It is therefore no surprise that the bill was thrown out.
“The bill was about humanity and not about women. I therefore plead with the Senate to revisit this bill,’’ Chikwe said.
She said that the implication of throwing out the bill was that the incidents of rape, domestic violence, maternal mortality and poverty which had been ravaging the country would continue unchallenged.
“The dismissal of that bill essentially undermines the contributions Nigerian women are making towards our national development,’’ she said.
The women leader said that the bill was not just about women but centred on the survival of the family system in Nigeria.
She was optimistic that if passed, the greatest beneficiaries of the bill would have been the men folk “who are undoubtedly the heads of families.’’
She added that Nigerian women had proved capacity to lead and follow in national development.
“Nigerian women are very conscious of positive Nigerian cultures and tradition.
“However, they propose to eliminate those factors that retard our socio-economic development to comparable international standards,’’ Chikwe said.
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