Nigerian women are protesting the Senate’s refusal to pass five gender measures.
The women were protesting a parliamentary vote that struck down five measures that would have given Nigerian women more influence.
When I read the results of yesterday’s election, the first thought that sprang to me was, “Why do they despise us so much?” According to Nimisire Emitomo, a 25-year-old writer, who joined others to sing and scream about Nigerian politicians ignoring their concerns, “they are practically saying we are second-class citizens.”
If enacted, one of the modifications would have provided citizenship to foreign-born husbands of Nigerian women, despite the fact that the Nigerian constitution already grants automatic citizenship to foreign-born spouses of Nigerian men.
In 1999, during the transition from military to democratic government, the constitution was enacted. Protesters claim that the denials have stalled years of work by female legislators, lobbyists, and activists.
Furthermore, further procedures were put in place to give women 35 percent of parliamentary seats and 35 percent of political party leadership posts.
In Nigeria, women and girls account for approximately half of the population. Only 19 of the 469 members in Nigeria’s bicameral legislature are female, accounting for only 4% of the total.
Women have never been elected governor or president, and just a few cabinet positions are reserved for them.
As a result, the Inter-Parliamentary Union ranks the West African state 180th out of 190 countries.
One of the protest organizers was Chioma Agwuegbo, executive director of TechHerNG.
The vote on Tuesday marked the fifth effort since the constitution’s adoption in 1999 to revise it.
Activists believe the vote reflects a nation that is still strongly conservative.
Last week, it submitted a total of 68 legislation. “As different as Nigeria is in terms of how split we appear to be when it comes to ethnic, religious, and social issues, one thing that unites Nigerians above all else is a fundamental loathing for women.”
A law on financial autonomy for local governments, Nigeria’s third tier of government, was among the 49 legislation passed out of 68 that were voted on.
A bill that would have set a limit on how long criminal and civil cases could be prosecuted was also defeated.
The results of the vote must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the 36 state legislatures.
Before that move is done, the protesting ladies want Tuesday’s rulings reconsidered.
Due to religious views, sponsors and advocates of gender-related measures frequently face an uphill struggle in the legislature.
A similar law promoting gender equality was voted down for the third time last year after male senators from the northern area protested that such bills were “anti-Islam.”