A Bill aimed at elimination of discrimination against women has been turned down for a second reading at the Nigerian Senate today.
This was made known via the Nigerian Senate official Twitter account and the issue has caused quite a reaction from Nigerians on Twitter who feel that the Bill was long overdue.
The Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill was aimed at promoting equality, development and advancement of all persons in Nigeria as well as promoting women’s freedom of movement, female economic activity and girls’ access to education.
One Senator who was very vocal about the fact that Nigeria needs the Bill was Senator Biodun Christine Olujimi from Ekiti South Senatorial District.
She pointed out concerns on equal rights for women in marriage, divorce, property/land ownership and inheritance. She also explained how the Bill seeks adoption of special temporary measures to eliminate discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for majority of Nigerians. The Bill also seeks appropriate measures against gender discrimination in political and public life and prohibitions of violence to women.
Senator Bala Na’Allah also spoke for the Bill. He said that discrimination is a worldwide issue and that there is a need for adequate measures. Senator Na’Allah also spoke about the need to protect the widowhood and inheritance rights of women.
Other Senators who supported the Bill include Senator Ekweremadu, Senator Ndume, Senator Raji-Rasaki and Senator Garba.
Speaking against the Bill, among others, were:
The Senate put the Bill to a vote and sadly the Nays had it.
Twitter has since exploded with a lot of angry tweets from Nigerians as they can’t understand how such a fundamental Bill will be turned down. The word “Senate” is also trending right now.
See some tweets from Nigerians below.