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Constitution Review: Nigerian women protest exclusion

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Constitution Review: Nigerian women protest exclusion
By Our Reporter

A coalition of women groups has extended its protest over the non- passage of the bills relating to women at the just concluded Constitution Review on the1999 Constitution to Wednesday.

The women who barricaded the entrance to the National Assembly on Tuesday were aggrieved over the failure of the members of the national assembly to approve the Bill seeking to create special seats for women in the Senate, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly.

This is by creating one special seat in each state of the Federation and the FCT reserved solely for women without prejudice to their eligibility to contest in the existing senatorial seats in each state and the FCT.

President Women in Politics Forum, Mrs Ebere Ifendu said that the rejection of the bills by the lawmakers was “against development.

“If there is no inclusivity, how can we develop. There is no level playing field.

“What we are asking for is 35 percent of women in party executive. Surprisingly, they voted against it.”

Also, National President of Business and Professional Women in Nigeria, Mrs Yinka Ajibola said that “we are not asking for favour; we are asking for our rights.

“The non- passage of the bill was a disappointment and we have come to show our displeasure. We are dissatisfied.

“Incidentally, women are more than 50 percent. Why should we be treated as second class citizens. It is so shocking that Nigeria in 2022 will be taking such a stance.”

Meanwhile, in a bid to address the protesting women, the leadership of the Senate led by Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Ajayi Boroffice said “we are here on behalf of the Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

“He has delegated us to represent him. Seeing us you have seen the Senate; you have seen the Senate president.

“We are going to listen to you. Even though we know what you are about to say. We are in agreement with your strategy, we are sympathetic with your intention but in a democracy, you cannot always have it your own ways,”Boroffice said.

Reacting, Mrs Abiola Afolabi, Leader of the Women Group noted with displeasure that “last week, the Wive of the President and Minister of Women Affairs came to the national assembly on behalf women to make our issues known.

“There were some commitments made by the Senate President about the gender sensitivity of the national assembly.

“We want to see them to explain to us what really happened and what can be done to address this wrong. We are demanding to see them.

“It is better they dignify us by coming to speak with us as we will not speak with the delegation”.

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