A bill seeking equal rights for women, men and persons living with disabilities has passed the second reading at the Senate.
Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South) sponsored the bill.
The bill was introduced in the Senate in 2021 but was frustrated by some senators who objected that it was against the Islamic perspective and some socio-cultural norms.
The lawmakers agreed that the concerns raised against the bill should be erased before consideration and passage.
Leading debate on the bill at the plenary on Wednesday, Mrs Olujimi said it would create a conducive atmosphere for women and persons with disabilities when it is finally passed.
“The bill seeks to implement section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It also seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. It will ensure the equality of opportunities for every person.
“You will find this bill beneficial for the clear and constructive ways the bill seeks to address several forms of issues bedevilling men and women in their constituencies in issues of land ownership, inheritance, education, employment and the rising tide of sexual and gender-based violence in private and public spaces of institutions of learning,” she added.
“The bill further consolidates Senate’s courageous passage of the bill on sexual violence in higher institutions in Nigeria, assuring girls, women and men of protection from abuse and exploitation in our schools,” she said.
Contributing to the debate, Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba Central) said the title of the bill should reflect “equity” and not “equality”.
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The Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, also argued that the bill’s sponsor failed to identify the areas the Senate had earlier raised concerns against.
He submitted that it would be better for the sponsor to identify points that have been changed in the bill before it will be considered for passage.
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