Monday, 21 March 2016

FIDA solicits support of stakeholders on Gender Equality Bill

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on Monday called on stakeholders to sponsor the Gender Parity and Prohibition of Violence against Women bill.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Inime Aguma, FIDA’s Publicity Secretary in Abuja.

The Gender Parity and Prohibition of Violence against Women Bill was presented by Sen. Abiodun Olujimi representing Ekiti South on March 15.

``FIDA Nigeria calls on all well meaning Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to join hands together and stand for the sponsor of this bill with a view to representing the bill and ensure its passage.

``It is also time CSOs act as a watch dog to government’s inaction and non-implementation of treaties, making government accountable to the society.

``The Nigerian Senate should consider treating issues that concern women with the seriousness it deserves.

``There would be no Senate without women and we can no longer afford to have citizens who cannot participate effectively in governance because of discriminatory practices,” it said.

The statement further said that assenting to the bill would facilitate achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as empower women and girls.

It observed that the rejection of the bill, which bothered on religion and traditions, underscored the need to create a level playing field where women would be gainfully engaged in nation building and development.

According to the statement, the discrimination suffered by women are peculiar to them and requires specific legislation to protect the girl child and woman from evil of the patriarchal system.

Others are cultural and religious beliefs prevalent in the country.

``The provisions of the constitution on human rights are broad based and the Gender Equality Bill sought to promote specific legislation that identifies and prohibits all forms of violations enshrined in the Constitution.

``Women make up to half of the nation’s population and a continuous violation of their rights affect the development of the nation and projects Nigeria as one of the underdeveloped nations in the world,” it said.

The statement said the bill was rejected at a time when Nigeria’s economy was in ruins and needed the participation of all the citizens to nurture the nation `back to her feet’.

FIDA Nigeria, however, stated that it was identifying with UN and global partners to support the thriving of gender equality in the country.