When I read about the position of the senate on the gender equality opportunity bill, and some reactions both online and offline, I had a deep thought on the issue and asked myself why in the first place would women demand for male / female equality if things were done right and rights and privileges of people were respected. For Nigerian women to join voices and demand for this bill it’s because of abuse and inhuman treatment measures meted out to women.
Generally, African men have not been fair to their women over the years. Various cultures and traditions were instituted to control and put down the female child/womanhood. In some cultures, girls were not sent to school. Even those who managed to go were asked to drop out when there is a financial challenge for the boys in the family to continue, after all the girl will end up in another ‘man’s kitchen’. That was the situation and I think it still exist somewhere. The girl child is brought up to believe a boy is more superior to her. She watched her mother being humiliated by the husband’s family because she has only female children and the husband is made to marry other wives in the quest for male children.
In some family gatherings, women are not permitted to speak even in matters that directly affects them. Teenage girls are being married off to men old enough to be their fathers without their consent and understanding of what they are going into. A widow is made to go through some rigorous and inhuman rituals to prove her innocence in the death of her husband who was killed by his own family members so they can inherit his properties but the widow must be blamed for his death. A tradition that permits men to cheat on their partners but the woman dare not as all hell is let loosed on her. Like the woman in the Bible that was ‘caught in the act’ and brought to Jesus. They caught HER in the act not THEM. The man was allowed to go but the woman must be punished. A man is the ‘boss’ who is supposedly the bread-winner in the home while the woman is the home keeper. He cannot lift a pin to assist in the domestic chores even when the wife is working and largely supports the upkeep of the home. A woman has to apologise both when she is guilty and when the man is guilty for peace to reign because he is the ‘boss’. What do we say about rape, domestic violence and lately ‘kidnap and marry’ as it happened to Ese and some other tenage girls ? The list and examples are endless.
With all the discrimination against and abuse of womanhood, the senate rejected the bill. The Senate President however, have said that they have asked Senator Abiodun Olujimi to make some adjustments on the bill and after which it will be re-presented. So then we will get to know where the senators disagreed on the bill.
You can read the full document of the bill HERE.
What do you have to say about the Bill?
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