Nigeria: I'm Committed To Passing Gender Bill : Gbajabiamila
The Speaker made this known while recieveing a delegation from a development partner, OXFAM International, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Thursday.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has stressed that Nigeria could not afford to be left behind in the global trend to protect and defend the rights of women. He reiterated the commitment of the 9th House of Representatives to the protection of women and promoting gender-based issues.
The Speaker made this known while recieveing a delegation from a development partner, OXFAM International, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Thursday. The Country Director of OXFAM in Nigeria, Mr Constant Tchona who praised the Speaker for his gender and social development initiatives, seized the opportunity of the visit to canvass the passage of the Gender Equal Opportunity Bill by the Legislature advocating that it will "go a long way to redefine inclusive social and economic development in Nigeria.".
The Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill which seekd to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and reserve 35% of political office and appointments for women failed in the 8th Assembly but has already been reintroducedin the 9th Senate.
On his part Gbajabiamila expressed the desire of the House of Representatives to partner with stakeholders to attend to the factors working against the passage of the bill. He noted that "It is our desire in the House to push the bill through, but we need to work hard and find out why the bill has had challenges. It's a good bill that we need to look at and push through."
The Speaker added that “When we find out, there are two ways to approach it: either you share education by sensitising/lobbying people who may be against the bill for that reason, or to recouch the bill and achieve the same result." Recall that the British High Commissioner to Nigeria had asserted that vested interestamong men who do not want to see 35% female representation in parliament was behind the failure of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill.