Gender and Equal opportunity bill

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The Problem Statement

The bill was at the stage of the public hearing in the Senate at the 8th Assembly but has been reintroduced at the 9th Assembly and sponsored by Senator Olujimi.  The policy is set to address some structural and social issues that affect women in all sector of the society by Prohibition of discrimination, that is, No person, organ or agency of government, a public or private institution, commercial or corporate body, community, or other entity, or any representative of such organ or agency of government, public or private institution, commercial or corporate body, community, or other entity shall either through words spoken, acts, inactions, omissions, laws, regulations, administrative procedures, policy, guideline, rules, customs or practices.

The Policy Solution

The Solution and purpose of this Bill are to give effect to:

(a) Chapters II and 1V of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

(b) The International Covenants on Human Rights which affirm the principle of non-discrimination and proclaims that all humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights set out without distinction of any kind including distinction based on sex;

(c) certain provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa.

The key provision of the bill- Promotion of equality, full development, and advancement of all persons

  1. Every person, body, institution, community, authority or private enterprise whether public organ or body, public institution, individuals, communities or authority and private enterprise in Nigeria shall take all appropriate measures, including regulatory policy, fiscal and administrative measures, to ensure the full development and advancement of all persons, especially young women and girl children, for the purpose of guaranteeing to them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of non-discrimination and equality of all persons.
  2. Accordingly, every person, organ or agency of government, public or private institution, commercial or corporate body, community, or other entity, or any representative of such organ or agency of government, public or private institution, commercial or corporate body, community, or other entity, shall accord to women, children, and other persons equality before the law, and accordingly, shall on the basis of equality;

Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill 2011

  1. gives women equal rights to conclude contracts and to administer property
  2. treat women equally with men in all stages of procedure in courts and tribunals.
  3. ensure that no rule, regulation, agreement, protocol, contract or any other public or private instruments of any kind with a legal effect shall restrict, limit or in any way discriminate against any person in terms of legal capacity.
  4. accord to men and women the same rights with regard to the law, regulations, directives, practice, or customs relating to the movement of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and domicile.
  5. no practices of law enforcement agency or body shall restrict or limit the legal capacity of women to undertake surety or recognizance on behalf of any person.6
  6. Desist from denying or limiting any privilege, respect, advantage, or benefit due or accruable to women only on the basis that she is a woman.

 

NIGAC Constructive Position/Take

The Gender and Equal opportunity Bill is a policy that should be embraced by all policymakers who are concerned about the empowerment and development of women and girls in society. Successful passage of the policy will address issues faced by women in the public and private sectors, promoting women’s participation in politics and addressing cultural norms that limit women’s progress.

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