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Gender Equality Bill Senators believe law will turn women into prostitutes, lesbians

Abaribe also said that many senators were concerned that the bill would make women ignore their immediate responsibilities.

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Nigerian Senate. play

Nigerian Senate.

(channelstv)

Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe has said that his colleagues rejected the Gender Equality Bill out of fear that it would turn women into prostitutes and lesbians.

The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi, was debated and rejected on March 15, 2016.

Abaribe also said that many senators were concerned that the bill would make women ignore their immediate responsibilities.

The senator made the comments on Wednesday, April 13, in Abuja during a forum on the political rights of women in Nigeria, Premium Times reports.

“The bill was defeated at the second reading when its details were highlighted to the senators,” Abaribe said.

“Some lawmakers started expressing deep worries about some parts of the bill that they think could give women too much freedom and lead them to prostitution, lesbianism and other social vices.

“The reason why we’re here is that we think that we should be able to re-strategize, we should be able to look at the bill again and see those contentious areas we may need to modify. We should be able to find those critical constituencies within the senate that we must have to address.

“We should be able to look at the narrative of the bill and how it is being presented to the public and change that narrative and make it a positive narrative.

“For example, the bill is not a north versus south bill. The bill is not a Christian versus Muslim bill. The bill is not a male versus female bill. The bill simply seeks to extend to every Nigerian all the rights that are they should enjoy.

“And if women by virtue of our culture, by virtue of our historic antecedents are being behind, then we need to also drag them into the economy by giving them every right that they can use to be productive members of the society and that is all that we’re trying to do.

 “It has been rejected but we’re talking to the senators who are supporting the bill to know how we could move forward. It’s not easy to say the bill can pass tomorrow, but we will continue to plead with other members for their support on this bill," he added.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki had earlier said that the bill was rejected by some senators because they disagreed with it along the lines of religion and tradition.

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