Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill Was Turned Down Because Some Senators Disagreed on 18-Years Minimum Age for Marriage - Bukola Saraki

The Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill is getting a lot of attention after the Senate turned it down at the second reading yesterday. This has generated controversy and Senate President, Bukola Saraki has promised that the Bill will be re-introduced. Saraki said:

Today, we discussed the Domestication of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention Eliminating all forms of discrimination against women under 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 to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, and Other Matters Connected Therewith.

As I said during the International Womens Day last week, I am of the opinion that there are substantial parts of the bill that are crucial to the development of our nation such as the Equal Access to Education, strengthening of the laws on Violence against Women, Ending Abduction of girls, Sustenance and Promotion of Entrepreneurship opportunities, Gender Mainstreaming and Gender equality, female participation in governance, among others.

Unfortunately, the bill suffered a slight set back because there were some parts of the Bill that some Senators disagreed with along the lines of religion and tradition. The beauty of democracy is that it gives us the opportunity to consider different opinions and this bill can still be represented and reconsidered on the floor of the Senate.

I have it on good authority that Senator Biodun Olujimi who introduced this bill will reintroduce it after re-drafting it to address some of the reservations that were expressed on the floor of the Senate.

Released by SA on Gender
Ms Fatima Kakuri

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