The leadership of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has appealed to members of the Federal Legislature to as a matter of urgency, necessity and in the interest of democracy to discard their earlier posture and allow for the gender bills to be re-represented and passed into law.
NAWOJ made the appeal in a press statement signed by its National President, Ladi Bala on the occasion of International Women’s day.
While congratulating Nigerian women on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, Bala noted that though the celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day would have been one of the best to be celebrated by not just women in Nigeria, but development partners as well as gender activists, if the hope of the Constitution amendment on gender bills had not been dashed by the National Assembly.
According to the statement, “In fact, history would have been made by the 9th Assembly as the legislature that allowed the true definition of democracy to take it roots in Nigeria but the members chose the path of exclusion and discriminatory agenda against Nigerian women and girls.
“The sad and unacceptable rejection of the five gender bills that speak to the issues against women especially discrimination and exclusion from involvement in governance and contribution to nation building is not only shameful, retrogressive but a huge tragedy in the development space of Nigeria and the eye of the global community .
“No nation that excludes more than 50 percent of a segment of its demography can develop as expected.”It is therefore pertinent to appeal to members of the Federal Legislature to as a matter of urgency, necessity and in the interest of the spirit and letters of democracy to discard their earlier posture and allow for the Gender bills to be re-represented and passed into law”, the statement said.
“NAWOJ leadership however called on all Nigerian women to rise and demand from their representatives the fulfilment of the social contract of effective representation they signed.
“It is equally instructive to note that the fight towards ensuring that Nigeria corrects the wrongs requires the support of patriotic men who believe in a better Nigeria.
“Until the Gender bills are reconsidered and passed into law, Nigeria cannot be seen or considered to be a full democratic nation.
“Attaining Gender Equality Today for a sustainable Tomorrow” which is the theme for the 2022 International Women’s Day, will remain an Illusion in Nigeria except a pragmatic approach towards attaining and balancing Gender related issues in the country is adopted and respected by all”, the statement said.