Worried by the alleged discrimination against women in the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, the Senate has begun legislative process to put an end to such attitude.
Specifically, the upper legislative chamber is determined to expunge the gender discriminatory provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 from the principal Act.
This was part of the consideration being given the Police Act Amendment Bill, 2019 which passed second reading on Thursday in the Senate.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP Imo East) said the Act under amendment restricts female police officers assigned to general duties in the Police Force to telephone, clerical and office orderly duties.
According to him, the Act also prohibits women police from drilling under arms; mandates female police officers to apply for permission to marry, while the intending fiancé is investigated for criminal records.
While prescribing discriminatory treatment – dismissal from service – for an unmarried police officer who becomes pregnant, the Act also stipulates that a police woman who is single at the time of enlistment must spend three years in service before applying for permission to marry.
“An analysis of the Police Act and other regulatory/policy documents governing the internal and external workings of the Nigeria Police Force reveals a preponderance of discriminatory regulations and workplace practices that reinforce gender discrimination.
“The examination of gender issues covers various spheres of policy and practice ranging from language, recruitment, training and posting; to marriage, pregnancy and child bearing.
“Many of the Police regulations particularly Regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 are overtly discriminatory to female officers,” Onyewuchi said.
Contributing, the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), lamented the level of discrimination against women in the Police Force.
He, therefore, called on his colleagues to support efforts by the upper chamber to amend the Act so as to give dignity to women police.
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, later referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further legislative work.
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