By Frederick Peters, KADUNA

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The Nigerian League of Women Voters ( NILOWV), Kaduna state Chapter, has slammed the National Assembly over their rejection of the five gender bills, during the constitutional review process, describing the action as the height of legislative gender based violence.( LGBV)

NILOWV however, called on the National assembly, to in the interest of peace, justice and gender inclusion rescind its decision and pass the earlier rejected bills.

The group further charged Nigerian Women to go into active politics, to be counted in the decision making processes rather than just being passive participants.

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Frm Left: Amb. Remawa, Dr. Shonekan (middle), during the press briefing

In a Press briefing and consultative meeting held as part of activities marking the Int”l Women’s Day, in Kaduna on Thursday, NILOWV through its State Chairperson, Dr. Rakiya Shonekan, further urged political parties to practicalize the affirmative action and other gender based related rights of women in their operations, as the world celebrates the international Women’s Day and women’s struggles

” Today, we congratulate women all over the world especially Nigerian Women for their achievements, roles, sacrifices and resilience in keeping families, communities and the country going.

” I especially give a resounding power clap to the everyday Nigerian woman mostly found at the grassroots, whose votes, strength and sweat contribute in no small measure to the existence and development of our nation.“Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. This theme is very apt.” she added

She said, ” For years Nigerian Women have desired and sought for Equality and Equity. This has become more intentional and intense since 1995 (Post Beijing).Nigerian girls and women have always had to contend with stereotypes, bias, barriers and even violence in a bid to attain their potentials.

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” Today, we commit to continue to PUSH until we are fully accepted and integrated as co-partners in the Nigerian project. To validate our stand, I refer to the statement of that great human rights defender and states man, the late Bishop Desmond Tutu who stated inter alia “If we are going to see real development in the world, then our best investment is WOMEN”!!!” she pointed out

While reacting to the rejection of the Gender Bills by the National Assembly (NASS) saying” We will recall that Nigerian Women proposed five alterations in the fifth Constitution alteration bills.I t is however no longer news that the alteration areas were rejected by an over whelming 95.5% of the legislators, of course proposed mostly by men.

” These proposed alterations are:-Reserved quota (35% affirmative action for women in political positions (appointed).Additional seats for women in federal and state legislatures. Citizenship by registration for Non-Nigerian men married to Nigerian Women.35% affirmative action for women in political party administration and leadership.Indigeneship through marriage for Nigerian women married to Nigerian men.

” It saddens our hearts to know that the 9th Assembly chose the month of women’s celebration to humiliate women and womanhood. More painful is the fact that these very law makers were conceived, carried for nine months, birthed ( in some cases died as they brought forth life), nurtured, campaigned for and given the mandate to govern by the very women they choose to despise and disregard” she lamented

According to her ” this is indeed nothing more than legislative gender based violence (LGBV) It’s also a “clear indication that 95.5% of our law makers are guided by STEREOTYPES, gender bias, negative cultural, traditional and religious norms and beliefs.They must stop paying lip service to women empowerment but rather act positively on improving the lives of girls and women by opening up the space for participation and representation for meaningful and constructive Nation building.

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“We therefore demand that NASS reconsiders the Gender Bills. On our part as women we refuse to give up or be cowered. We resolve not to drop our batons, we are determined, to collaborate with all female gender friendly He-for-she to #stop the bias , #stop the barriers and #break the ceilings” she added

Similarly, while persenting a paper on “Nigerian Women Political representation 2023 and Beyond, an imperative to our Development” Amb Mrs Saratu H.S Remawa (Peace ) hinted on the need for Women political awareness and participation. inorder not to retrogress politically, adding that, if women don’t participate in politics” we allow other people to take decision on what we can or cannot on our total way of life”

While lamenting the several misrepresentations inhibiting women’s participation in politics, such as lack knowledge on the African history ” where women are never left out in decison making from the family”, the fear of being called names or attacked by political opponents’, thugs or the brainwash that politics is dirty and rejection based on tribe or religion” among others

She further called on the Senators, who she described as’ stabilizers’ to look into the issues of the rejected gender Bills as it affects the welfare and rights of the Nigerian women and do the needful to move the country forward.

Describing the event, the erstwhile Director of communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna and Parish Priest of St Charles Lwanga, Ungwar Sunday, Kaduna, Rev Fr Anthony Okelue, said, it’s commendable that ” a forum like this exist” adding that, one of our Nigerian Senators and one time Senate President, David Mark, was once quoted as sayimg “Women are less corruptible and corrupt” and that means they can actually be the stabilizers, the guest speaker is talking about,” he reiterated

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According to him, we need equity and see things done differently in Nigeria, ” so if women are given the opportunity, i want to believe that they will bring a whole lot of difference and meaningful change in the Nigerian polity; so this forum gives us such an awareness and helps us to understand that women can actually do what men are doing; i am happy for this forum” he added

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