Gender Bills: Womanifesto to occupy NASS if demands are not met

Nigeria Women under the auspices of womanifesto have vowed to mobilise the masses to occupy the National Assembly if the law markers fail to reconsider its stance on some gender equality and equal opportunity bills.


The women who spoke during a virtual press conference in Abuja noted that they were determined to match to the gates of the National Assembly on the 8th match 2022 to press home their demands.


The co-founder of womanifesto who is the leader of the protest, Dr Abiola Akiyode Afolabi, said “they are 20 different women groups and more.

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Gender Bills: Womanifesto to occupy NASS if demands are not met
Gender Bills: Womanifesto to occupy NASS if demands are not met

According to her, ” This is the first step that we are taking to demand that the wrong that was done to Nigeria woman should be redressed.

“What happened in the National Assembly was a manifestation of the historical injustices which has been affecting the voice of the Nigeria women. we realized that people who are representing us are not representing 50% of the population but they are actually just representing themselves compensation to do with their own resource and revenue where issues that they prioritize when it comes to dealing with Nigeria people, Nigeria women, or young people were not prioritized by their own hand.


Afolabi said that the bills, which had been pending before the National Assembly, sought affirmative actions for women in governance and political representation.

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These bills include the 35 per cent appointed positions for women and 20 per cent affirmative action in party administration.


“Plan International, as a gender-responsive and equal rights organization, stands in solidarity with the Nigerian women.


“We call on the National Assembly to reconsider its stance and pass the gender equality bills to strengthen our democracy and ensure the full participation of women and equitable representation in governance,” she said.

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The co-founder said the action of the parliament had the potential to undermine the importance and relevance of women’s contributions to governance in the country.


She said they included the key role women play to galvanise support and victory for political parties in elections.

Usie expressed regrets that “the lawmakers chose the month of March when women are being celebrated across the world in recognition of their achievements, leadership, courage, strength and resilience.


“The essence of the affirmative action in all civilised society is not an act of favouritism or conferment of undeserved privileges, but correcting unfair arrangement in the public domain.


“It is also to create enabling equal opportunities for all, as well as giving everyone a fair chance.


“Passing this bill would have earned members of the current National Assembly an enviable place in history,” Afolabi said.


“It is troubling that the lawmakers did not provide any reason for the rejection of the bill in spite of its significance.”


Usie said that the constitution guaranteed all its citizens their fundamental human rights, including freedom from discrimination as enshrined in Chapter 4, Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution to participate in public life.


She said “this is in line with various international instruments such as the Beijing Platform for Action, the Protocol to the African Union Charter for Human and Peoples Rights, among others


“We have decided that until our demands are meant we will continue to protest till they meet our demands”.

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