Senator Biodun Olujimi
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, stepped down a bill meant to create equal opportunities for both the male and female gender in the country, according to The PUNCH.
The proposed legislation, sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi is titled, ‘A bill for an Act to make provisions for the empowerment of women and gender equality and to establish a legislative framework for the empowerment of women’.
It was meant to align all aspects of laws and implementation of laws relating to women empowerment.
It was also designed to address issues on the appointments and representation of women in decision making, positions and structures.
Specifically, Olujimi, who said the same bill she sponsored in the Eight Senate suffered same fate, explained that the proposed legislation was targeted at ending discrimination against the female gender.
About four senators spoke against the bill when Olujimi presented it for second reading on Wednesday.
Their arguments against it, just like what they canvassed in the Eight Senate was that it would offend the sensibilities of a certain religion, and make it unimplementable in some parts of the country.
Other senators believed that the bill should go for a second reading so that the inputs of the stakeholders would be accommodated.
The development degenerated into a heated debate and the majority opinion, including that of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was that the sponsor should consult widely and present the bill again after removing areas of serious concerns raised by the lawmakers.
Olujimi noted that she actually consulted widely before she came up with the bill again in the Ninth Senate and expressed surprised with the turn of events.
She said, “I actually consulted widely and 62 senators signed up to be cosponsors but if I am being asked to step it down just because about three senators raised concerns, so be it.”
The Senate President then ruled that the bill be stepped down to allow for further consultations.