By Collins Dupson,2nd March, 2022

Ondo State Chapter of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has joined over 200 women groups in the country to protest against the rejection of several bills seeking gender equality in the country.

PATH learnt how federal lawmakers on Tuesday voted on 68 bills that seek to alter the Constitution. Of the 68 legislations, about five bills sought to promote more opportunities for women in political parties, governance and the society at large but the five bills were rejected.

On Wednesday, the women, led by many civil society groups, carried placards to express their grievances, blocking the entrance of the National Assembly.
For the third time in five years Nigerian senators have rejected a bill that sought to promote gender equality in the country.

The proposed package was rejected after some lawmakers in the upper chamber, mostly Northern Muslims, cited social, cultural and religious concerns.

The bill focused on making discrimination on the basis of gender or marital status a crime. Another aim was to reinforce existing laws against gender-based violence.

Many of the senators who opposed the legislation during a plenary session on Wednesday said their resistance was strictly a religious issue.

Speaking from the protest venue in Abuja, Pastor Mrs Jumoke Aborode, the State President of the NCWS, Ondo State Chapter said tradition and religions differences must not be used to deny Nigerian women their gender equality right.

” We have lntelligient and great women that can lead the nation and stand as voice for womenfolk. To legislators that opposed the bill, it was a disservice to a nation and selfish agenda that all Nigerians women will resist”.

She enjoined every woman in Ondo State to join other Nigerian women to condemn selfish agenda which is intentional to silence women in all facet of human endeavour.

According to her, ” Over the years, women have been denied positions of authority and relegated to the background. The ideas and believes that women should not be seen or heard must be jettisoned. We are capable and have what it takes to lead Nigeria to greatness. Our good days is near, it is just a matter of time”.

While urging women of the state to be calmed and shun violence, noting that, the struggle of women will yield positive results at the end the day.

The President charged other progressive regions of the country to work as a team and always encourage women, saying women place is no longer at the kitchen nor as a slave.

Some of the proposed demands includes bills sought to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of a Nigerian woman. Already, a Nigerian man’s foreign-born wife is automatically a Nigerian citizen, bill sought to allocate 35 per cent of political positions based on appointment to women specific seats for women at the National Assembly, Women 35% affirmative action in party administration and leadership among others.

It could be recalled some days ago, the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari was at the National Assembly on solidarity and in support of a provision in the altercation bill that seeks permanent legislative seat for women in the National Assembly and also throw her weight behind Gender Bill that seek affirmative action for women.

Meanwhile, Pastor Mrs Aborode sympathized with Nigerians residing in Ukraine and mothers whose children are schooling in the the country, praying for God guidance and protection.

She charged Federal Government to be proactive in the air lifting of Nigerians from the war torn Ukraine.

The President tasked world leaders to call Vlamir Putin, Russian President to order, saying the world can’t afford to experience another Third World War.

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