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Women protest rejected gender bills at National Assembly Abuja

Some Nigerian women on Wednesday protested the rejection of constitutional amendments that would have favoured women by the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Part of the amendments that failed include the creation of 111 special seats for women, women being able to take on the indigene-ship of their husbands, passing their nationality to their foreign spouses, having 35 per cent in political party leaderships and having more appointment positions.

The women who occupied the gate of the National Assembly in protest, gathered early morning at the three-arm zone and marched to the National Assembly gate chanting songs of solidarity.

The groups demand that the Federal lawmakers take another look at the requests for 111 seats for women, citizenship, 35% representation in party leadership, more appointive positions in government, and vote in favour of these amendments.

The groups gathered for the protest include the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWA), Women Organisation for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA), Women In Business (WIMBIZ), Action Aid, Yiaga Africa, the Islamic Youth League, among others.

The protest comes less than 24 hours after the bill seeking to provide special seats for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly failed.

The Bill titled ‘Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Special Seat for Women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; and for Related Matters,’ failed after most of the lawmakers voted against it.

The lawmakers during the plenary on Tuesday voted on 68 Constitution Amendment bills.

The bill for special seats for women was defeated in the Senate with 58 votes out of 91 while in the House of Representatives 208 out of 290 lawmakers voted against it.

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