The Senate on Tuesday rejected a bill for an act to incorporate and enforce certain provisions of the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the protocol of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the right of women in Africa and other matters connected.The bill was sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi representing Ekiti South.
Leading the debate before the bill was rejected, Olujimi said the bill seeks to give effect to the provision of chapter 2 and 4 of the 1999 constitution as amended. She added that the proposed law seeks to promote equality, development and advancement of all persons in Nigerian.
The lawmaker further stated that the bill will provide for women empowerment in the areas of freedom of movement and equal right for women in marriage.
“The bill provides that all appropriate measures be taken to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life, eliminate discrimination against women in education, eliminate discrimination against women in employment, prevent discrimination against women on the ground of marriage, marital status and eliminate discrimination against any person on any ground whatsoever” Olujimi said.
The female lawmaker also added that the bill prohibits all forms of violence against women in private and public places.
Although the bill was supported by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and other few Senators,it was opposed by Senator Sani Yerima, Senator Adamu Aliero and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.
In his contribution Ekweremadu said there is need to encourage and promote equal opportunities for women. “There is need to encourage our women and this kind of advocacy and I believe our women are doing well,” Ekweremadu said
Yerima in his contribution said after going through the bill, he discovered that the some section of the bill are in conflict with the constitution. He urged the sponsors of the bill to withdraw it. “I advise that the bill should be revisited again because there are many areas in conflict with the constitution,” Yerima said.
Senator Adamu Aliero supported Yerima’s position that the bill was inconsistent with the 1999 constitution. In his contribution Senator Emmanuel Bwacha added that the Christian Religion does not support total freedom of women.
When the bill was put to vote by the senate President Bukola Saraki, it was rejected by majority of the Senators present at the plenary.