ADVERTISEMENT

Senators block gender and equal opportunities bill because Islam doesn't support it

The bill was stepped down to be considered later when lawmakers have studied it more.

Nigerian senators [Tope Brown]

A bill for gender and equal opportunities was stepped down in the Senate on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 after numerous lawmakers opposed it based on religious reasons.

Leading debate on the bill during plenary, Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South - PDP), said it would implement Section 42 of the constitution that provides for the elimination of discrimination against women.

The bill, the sponsor argued, would ensure the equality of opportunities for everyone, and guarantee them the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

"The bill, when enacted, will also encourage women to aspire and attain their full potentials considering the fact that there are real and nuanced forms of discrimination against women limiting their (career) entry and growth," she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra North - APC), supporting the bill, called on lawmakers in the chamber to pass the bill in consideration of all the women in their lives that would benefit.

Senators Gyang Istifanus Dung (Plateau North - PDP), Eyakenyi Akon Etim (Akwa Ibom South - PDP), Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central - APC), Ajibola Bashiru (Osun Central - APC), James Manager (Delta South - PDP), and Remi Tinubu (Lagos Central - APC) all supported the bill and asked that it be passed on to the relevant committee for further legislative action.

However, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf ( Taraba Central - APC) said the socio-cultural practice of the northern region, derived from the Islamic religion, is against men and women being considered as equals.

"I will not support the passage of this until the word 'equal' is removed. If we now have debate on the gender opportunities bill, fine. But when you bring equality into it, it infringes into the practice of Islamic religion," he said.

Senator Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto North - APC) supported Yusuf's position, saying equity was okay, but equality was not.

ADVERTISEMENT

Their objections led to a debate that lasted nearly an hour with Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North - APC), advising that the bill be amended to address the concerns.

Senator Olujimi, at some point, offered to rename the bill 'gender equity bill', instead of 'gender and equal opportunities bill' that's offensive to those against its passage.

She argued that the bill had already been tested with Islamic clerics who were happy with the terms stated in it.

Unsatisfied, Senator Yusuf asked that the bill be stepped down until a draft has been read by lawmakers so that they can make a more informed decision.

Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa North - APC) also said it would be an injustice if the concerns of the lawmakers are not properly addressed before the bill is passed on to the next stage.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said, "It will pay us greater dividend that we seek some advise. Let's have some little room for our neighbours. What's the hurry?"

Senators Bala Ibn N'Allah (Kebbi South - APC), and Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North - APC) also asked for wider consultations before the bill is considered for passage.

Senator Olujimi agreed to step down the bill due to the opposition to it, with plans to present it at a later date.

Lawan urged her to ensure the concerns raised are addressed in the amended draft to be forwarded to all senators to study.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

FG to list Ojude Oba as UNESCO approved festival

FG to list Ojude Oba as UNESCO approved festival

Suspected kidnappers arrested while trying to escape with ransom

Suspected kidnappers arrested while trying to escape with ransom

Abia records 109 cases of stooling, vomiting but no cholera

Abia records 109 cases of stooling, vomiting but no cholera

Some Nigerians have no choice but to use charcoal stoves as kerosene price skyrockets

Some Nigerians have no choice but to use charcoal stoves as kerosene price skyrockets

Here's why storing cooked food in refrigerator for over 3 days could kill you

Here's why storing cooked food in refrigerator for over 3 days could kill you

VIDEO: Tension in Rivers as angry youths pull down Wike's statue

VIDEO: Tension in Rivers as angry youths pull down Wike's statue

Kogi Govt bans traditional processions in Koton Karfe to maintain peace

Kogi Govt bans traditional processions in Koton Karfe to maintain peace

Governor donates 12 cows to prison inmates to give them 'sense of belonging'

Governor donates 12 cows to prison inmates to give them 'sense of belonging'

Nigeria spends ₦884 billion to import palm oil every year

Nigeria spends ₦884 billion to import palm oil every year

Pulse Sports

Finidi George responds to accusation made by Victor Osimhen in viral video

Finidi George responds to accusation made by Victor Osimhen in viral video

Elaine Thompson-Herah withdraws from the 200m of the Jamaican Olympic games trials amidst injury woes

Elaine Thompson-Herah withdraws from the 200m of the Jamaican Olympic games trials amidst injury woes

PulseSports30: Sikiru Alimi tops Moses Simon as Osayi-Samuel comes in at 24

PulseSports30: Sikiru Alimi tops Moses Simon as Osayi-Samuel comes in at 24

Victor Osimhen's future in the balance: Premier League or Saudi Pro League?

Victor Osimhen's future in the balance: Premier League or Saudi Pro League?

FIFA Rankings: Nigeria ahead of Ghana& South Africa, remain best team in the continent

FIFA Rankings: Nigeria ahead of Ghana& South Africa, remain best team in the continent

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT