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Opinion

Why National Assembly should revisit 5 rejected gender equal opportunity bill – Group

Accountability Lab Nigeria, a Data and Digital Rights Coalition, has urged the National Assembly to reconsider the five gender equal opportunity bill it rejected last year, saying that the country was heading towards gender inclusive society that required the passage of the bills.

Country Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh, made the call while fielding questions from journalists at a two-day capacity building workshop for officials involved in the development and implementation of the National Gender Policy, that the implementation can be as effective as it would be with the bill on equal gender policy passed.

According to him, “If the law is implemented it applies to the government, that is why we say since the gender policy has been revised why not implement as an active engagement with government, we can even for instance have 3 males to 2 females out of five directors, at least female can now have the voice to make decisions and contribute to decision making process in MDAs.

“Women can contribute to budgeting process in a way that affects women in our society when it comes to health and education. The point is to have women in places of leadership that can help contribute in decision making as it affects women generally.

“The MDAs represented here can actually pick the gender policy and implement it as it concerns them because there are five pillars of economic empowerment to climate change, to governance. They can pick where it concerns them to mainstream gender into their processes, activities and practices.”

In her remarks at the workshop, the Programmes and Learning Manager, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Ehi Idakwo, explained that the rationale behind the training was born out of the need to promote Gender equality, equity and social inclusion through the revised National Gender Policy.

According to her, “This is crucial in helping Nigerians understand the National Gender Policy, as well as translating the policy into actionable strategies.

She recalled that in March 2022, there were about some bills that bother on citizenship, indigeneship and 35 per cent legislative seats to women as well as reserve 35 per cent political party leadership, that were were rejected by the National Assembly. 

She said that the workshop was organized in collaboration with the Women’s Right Advancement Protection Alternative (WRAPA), and sponsored by Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

Mathilda Ovellet, represented the Canadian Funds for Local Initiatives.

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