REVISITING THE BILL ON GENDER PARITY AND PROHIBITION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Nigerian women are well aware of the fact that the Senate and indeed the members of House of Representatives understand the yearnings of the women in this country and will therefore be at the forefront of promoting any laws for the protection of their rights and the realisation of their potential as stakeholders in project Nigeria.
It is in this light that I want to thank the Senate President Senator Olubukola Saraki for requesting that the proposed bill on gender parity and prohibition of violence against women be re-presented to the floor of the senate. The Senate President has urged women to go back to the drawing tables and review the document in such a way that it will stand a test of plausibility once it is brought back to the floor for reconsideration.
I must also commend the courage of Senator Abiodun Olujimi for revisiting the issue of gender parity and prohibition of violence, even as it is clear that the senate is made up of only 6% women. Senator Olujimi is confident that even though there are very few women in the senate that may not necessarily be prejudicial to women’s issues. We are very hopeful that the content of the revised bill will appeal to many distinguished senators, that they will adopt and make it their own bearing in mind that no nation prospers when over half its population is disenfranchised.
Our law makers are also aware of Nigeria’s commitment to various international instruments such as The Convention on The Elimination of All Kinds Of Discrimination Against Women CEDAW, The African charter for Human and People’s Rights and several other such obligations like the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs especially goal no 5 on Gender equality which must pave way to the introduction of laws such as the one proposed now on gender parity in Nigeria. On behalf of Nigeria women, I wish to thank the senate President for this opportunity hoping that on re- presentation the redrafted bill will not face the same fate as it did earlier.
We are all confident that the outcome will be in the best interest of women and will impact positively on their socio-economic and political development.
Dr. Hajo Sani
Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP)