A coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations, Womanifesto, has called on the National Assembly to review the remaining two gender-related bills, which were among five gender-related bills rejected on March 1.
Prof. Olubunmi Ashimolowo, who is the Ogun State Coordinator for 100 Women Lobby Group, an NGO, made the call in Ogun State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of Womanifesto had initially protested the rejection of five gender-related bills by the National Assembly during a rally it organized on Tuesday at Kuto Market, Ogun, to commemorate International Women’s Day.
The five gender-related bills rejected by the National Assembly stipulated that citizenship should be granted to the foreign-born husband of a Nigerian woman. Also, Nigerians in the diaspora were denied the right to vote, and women should be granted 20 percent appointed positions in government.
The other two bills stipulated that women should be granted 35 percent affirmative action in party administration and leadership, and granted specific seats in the National Assembly.
The House of Representatives rescinded its decision on three of the bills on Tuesday, specifically on a bill to expand the scope of citizenship by registration, affirmative action for women in political party administration, and provision for criteria to be an indigene of a state in Nigeria.
Ashimolowo said: “It is commendable that the House of Representatives has rescinded its decision on three gender-related bills, but it is not enough. Women’s exclusion should be a thing of the past. Women must remain resolute in the struggle for inclusion in leadership.
“The overall situation of women and girls in Nigeria has not significantly improved since the advent of the current democratic dispensation in 1999. Therefore, a cohort of various women-led and women-focused organisations have come together under womanifesto for the purpose of generating a collective agenda that becomes a common cause around which a movement can emerge,” she added.
Also speaking during the rally, Mrs. Peju Osoba, the Ogun State Coordinator, Gender and Constitution Reform Network, drew attention to the good jobs done by Nigerian women.
Osoba said that these included previous and current heroes such as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Okonjo Iweala, among others.
She called on all Nigerian women to encourage every woman within their space of influence on the significance of International Women’s Day, which was marked on March 8.
Womanifesto is a collective of more than 500 women organizations and individuals working across Nigeria to attain gender justice and equality.