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Activist urges NASS to pass gender and equal opportunities bill

10 September 2013, 18:01

Abuja - A Gender Activist, Banke Akinrimisi, on Tuesday urged the National Assembly to pass the gender and equal opportunities bill.

Akinrimisi said an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that poverty among women would continue as long as they did not have equal opportunities with men.

She said there was a need for mass mobilisation, sensitisation and education of women and all Nigerians to the benefit of the bill.

Akinrimisi said that the most reliable means of reducing poverty among women was to pass the bill into law but expressed regret that it was facing challenges.

According to her, Nigeria may not meet the MDGs if it fails to pass the bill into law, considering that  the provisions of the bill are people-oriented.

"Many African countries might not achieve the MDGs, if the discrimination against women continues, Nigeria inclusive,’’ she said.

Akinrimisi called for the domestication of all international conventions on gender and women’s rights at all levels of the society, considering that development would not be complete without women.

The gender activist said that in spite of numerous international conventions on gender discrimination, nothing had changed significantly.

Akinrimisi urged the civil society organisations to intensify efforts in ensuring the passage of the bill.

"It is regrettable that despite efforts made by all stakeholders, the CEDAW or gender and equal opportunity bill is yet to be domesticated in Nigeria.

"We accept this setback while we continue to strive and advocate for its passage by the National Assembly.

"We hope that sooner than later, they will see the sense in passing laws that will protect and empower the interest of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters in this country of ours,’’ Akinrimisi said.

NAN reports that the bill, also called the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), is an international instrument signed by Nigeria in 1985.

It is the central and most comprehensive human rights treaty on the elimination of discrimination against women. 



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