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Gender Bills: Group says women will continue to occupy NASS



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Gender Bills: Group says women will continue to occupy NASS.


Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Co-Convener, ‘Womenifesto’, has said that women would continue to occupy the National Assembly Complex (NASS) to raise their voices against discrimination against Nigerian women.

Akiyode-Afolabi disclosed this in a webinar on Sunday during the commemoration of International Women’s day.

She said that Nigeria has a woeful women representation in political and elective positions.

“At the National Assembly (comprising the Senate with 109 members and the House of Representatives with 360 members, totaling 469 members of parliament), only 29 are women (six per cent of the total).

“There are, however, 440 men at the National Assembly. A low women representation in leadership positions amounts to denying half of Nigeria’s population the voice and opportunity to contribute to governance and development.

“The male-dominated legislature recently rejected an attempt to recalibrate this imbalance, thereby introducing a cog in the path to addressing age-long discrimination against women,” she said.

The co-convener said that Womanifesto demands “Urgent re-convening, reconsideration, and immediate passage of the five women/gender-related bills: Bills number 35, 36, 37, 38, and 68.

“The passing of the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEOB) Bill, currently before the senate.

“Resuscitation and the passage of the Bill on Support for Women Participation in Elective and Appointive Positions Bill 2020 before the House of Representatives.

“Immediate Domestication of the African Charters Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which Nigeria ratified in 2004.


“Immediate domestication of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Nigeria ratified in 1985,” she said.

Akiyode-Afolabi said that Womanifesto has resolved to continue this struggle to push back on the misogynistic attitude of the NASS, the pattern of neglect of women concerns and disregard for womanity.

She said that severally women have been embarrassed by the gender insensitive practices of the law makers.

She said that the failure to address women issues through the gender bill shows that women are irrelevant, warning that efforts must be made to reject dehumanization of Nigerian Women.

She said that the constitution should cure the defect.

“We call on the Senate President and the Hon. Speaker to call an urgent meeting to discuss how to right the wrong, if not we shall continue to occupy the NASS.”

“We also call on all Nigerian men and women to join the rally. We will also have simultaneous rallies in Lagos, Calabar and other major cities,” she promised.