Nigerian women protest over assembly rejection of gender equality bill

Nigerian women in their hundreds on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly to protest against the rejection of several bills seeking gender equality in the country, and insisted that the lawmakers should revisit the gender bills.

Penpushing reports that, the protesters led by Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi accused  the federal lawmakers of choosing to deny women the opportunity of inclusion and representation in governance by voting against the bills.

The protesters, many of them who belong to various civil society groups, were seen carrying placards to express their grievances, adding that, the position of the lawmakers showed that the National Assembly has clearly said it does not want progress in the country.

Penpushing further  reports that the Minority Leader of the Senate, Hon Eyinnaya Abaribe, while addressing the women  explained that  he supported the bills but was outvoted, and told the  protesters to seek the voting records to know which lawmakers voted against the bills.

“I will pass your message on to the Senate President and I will urge him to come and respond to you personally. I voted for everything for women. I voted for everything that you wanted. The record of the voting is a public document. It is your right to ask for it from the Senate President and the Speaker and publish it so that everybody will know,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that, when principal officers which include, Ajayi Borroffice and Sabi Abdullah, appeared on behalf of the Senate to address the women, they declared  that they  need presence of  the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The leader of the protesters Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, who is  a lawyer and civil rights activist,  lamented that the lawmakers are not taking women’s issues seriously, stressing that the protesters have many questions to ask them.

“Women have questions that we want to ask them. Why is it that in this country, we seem not to be relevant because the attitude we saw yesterday, the issues that were treated, show that we are not taken seriously. This is 2022. The country should have grown up by now. We want to find out from them. Issue of citizenship is a major problem for them”,she emphasised

Penpushing reports that, Director of Programmes at Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu while speaking said the civil society groups will demand the voting records of the constitution amendment bills.

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