Gender Equality Bill scales second reading in Senate

A modified version of the Gender Equality Bill which seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in Nigeria, has passed through the crucial second reading on the floor of the Senate.
The bill had suffered a humiliating fate at its first introduction a few months earlier as it was strongly opposed by some male lawmakers.
They (the male lawmakers) noted
that enacting a law to accord women equal rights with men was in conflict with the country’s religious and cultural beliefs.
However, the bill was sponsored on Thursday by a member of the chamber from Ekiti State, Senator Biodun Olujimi, at the National Assembly.
Senator Olujimi expressed hope that the bill, when passed, would ensure the elimination of discrimination against women in education, employment, profession and occupation.
She added that it would also prohibit all forms of violence against women irrespective of their religion or ethnicity.
The lawmaker stated that Section 4 of the bill prohibits all forms of discrimination against any person on account of gender, age and disability through spoken words, acts, rules, customs and practices by any person or institution.
She expressed hope that it would receive favorable responses from her colleagues as her Lagos counterpart, Oluremi Tinubu, supported the move.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his contribution to the debate, advised the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to examine the bill closely to make sure its provisions do not conflict with existing laws.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative work.
The committee has been directed to present a report on the bill in four weeks.

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