Categories: World News

Nigerian Senators Throw Out A Woman Equality Bill Because Of the Bible & Sharia

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Nigerian woman

While the rest of the world is on speed chase to development on the back of empowering women, most African states continue to hold their women in bondage as oppressed group.
The seed to development in every nation is to empower women; grant women the needed cushion and equal rights and you will find a complete change of things—their children will be educated, well fed and nurtured and they will greatness out the little available to them.
Yesterday, Nigerian lawmakers voted against a gender and equal opportunities bill citing the fact that the bill conflicts with the Bible and Sharia Law.
According to QZ; “The bill, which did not pass a second reading, was aimed at bridging the gap between the rights of men and women in Nigeria. It also sought to end questionable and unpleasant stereotypical practices that drive discrimination based on gender.
While the bill garnered support from some lawmakers, male and female, it ultimately failed to progress on the senate floor as a majority voted against it. Before voting, various senators who opposed the bill, spoke about the incompatibility of the bill with religious laws and beliefs.”
It’s sad, grossly repugnant that in a 2016 meeting of lawmakers, a bill supposed to elevate women and set them on the path to equality was voted down—because of religious and some lame arguments.
The bill focused on “eliminating discrimination based on gender in the fields of politics, education and employment. It also prohibits violence—domestic and sexual—against women.”
QZ reports that;

In today’s Nigeria, despite the increased literacy rates which have accompanied urbanization and economic growth, gender equality remains an ideal that is sought after more than it is an everyday reality. For example, job advertisements for seemingly gender-neutral roles often specify that male candidates are preferred. Feminism is a raging topic that elicits more conflict than compromise and, perhaps worst of all, sexual violence and rape levels remain shockingly high.
While there is a growing generation of young people who are hoping to change the status quo with conversations that highlight inequality such as the #BeingFemaleInNigeria hashtag on Twitter last year, a mass populace who rationalize rights along the lines of religion and cultural belief remain the majority.
Seeking to modify and ultimately end odious socio-cultural practices that have been long in existence, such as the antagonistic treatment of widows, the bill states that widows “shall not be subjected to inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment” and “shall have the right to an equitable share in the inheritance of the property of her husband.”
The bill also hoped to ensure more participation of women in politics, a space historically dominated by men. Of Nigeria’s 109 senators, only seven are women even though the country’s population is fairly evenly split along gender lines. A section of the bill sought to “ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right to participate fully in all political activities, including the right to vote and be voted for in all elections and public referenda, and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected offices and bodies without any restriction, limitation or barriers whatsoever.”
Crucially, the bill was also firm on prohibition of domestic and sexual violence against women and instituting 18 as the minimum legal age for marriage. This is in a bid to tackle a notorious prominence of child brides in Nigeria where, according to UNICEF, 43% of girls are said to be married off before they turn 18. To implement its provisions, a Gender and Equal Opportunities Commission was to be created.

This is the Africa we are dealing with…

This post was published on March 16, 2016 1:31 PM

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