NASS needs to reconsider gender bills, Change Managers Network insists

April 1, 2022

2.4 min readCategories: News

The President of Change Managers International Network, Mrs Felicia Onibon, has called for the greater inclusion of women in leadership positions.

She also asked that the National Assembly fulfil its promise to reconsider the gender bills for the promotion of women’s rights and participation at all levels of governance.

Onibon, who doubles as the National Coordinator of 100 Women Lobby Group (100WLG), said this in Abuja on Thursday at a sensitisation programme for rural women on the Gender Bills hitherto rejected by the federal lawmakers.

She said, “We are looking at a situation where more women will have an understanding of what is happening in the political space, particularly the issue of the Gender Bills.

Since the House of Representatives said they would revisit the five Gender Bills that was rejected by the National Assembly, we are hearing again that the 44 Bills have been sent to the States for them to reconsider. That move is sort of negating the action the lawmakers had promised us to take.

“If they are now sending 44 Bills without the five Gender Bills for the States to Consider, it means they are not doing anything about it. The ideal thing to do was for them to wait for the review they promised the Nigerian women so that the Gender Bills will also be considered by the States.

So, we are not happy and looking at it seriously and considering the next steps we have to take quickly, because they States are waiting. We have been engaging them.

“We will like to tell the lawmakers to be more sincere when working with the citizens of this country. We deserve sincerity and ask them to listen to us properly, and actually take the matter of Nigerian women seriously. What is going on now means the matter is not being taken seriously. There are issues going on. They need to do things correctly.”

She further encouraged women networking, which would help more women rise to occupy leadership positions.

“We urge women to be interested in the political happening in the country, and also lend their voices to the discussions,” Onibon added.

Also speaking, the FCT Coordinator of 100WLG, Mrs. Ijeoma Echeruo, noted that in sub-Saharan Africa, women have been cultured to give greater focus to the family at the expense of positive networking and participation in public life.

She, therefore, explained that the objective of the sensitisation programme was to help rural women in Nigeria’s capital city to understand the practical implications of having the Gender Bills passed by the National Assembly.

“We are also trying to teach women the importance of reaching out to others to harness information and find out how it is important to their lives as well as how they can participate to change things that are negative, especially public policies and projects, by being part of governance in their communities,” Echeruo added.

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