" ITREALMS: DNS Women Nigeria reacts to Senate rejection of gender parity bill, condemns action

Monday, March 28, 2016

DNS Women Nigeria reacts to Senate rejection of gender parity bill, condemns action

Gender parity interest group within the Domain Name System (DNS) industry in Nigeria has joined other well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the recent outright rejection of the gender parity bill, reports ITRealms.

Reacting to the rejection at the weekend, the Founder and President, DNS Women Nigeria, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke told ITRealms that the act by the Senate reaffirms essentially the need for such a bill in the first place.

ITRealms recalls that the Nigeria Senate penultimate Tuesday in Abuja, out-rightly blocked a bill seeking equal marital rights for women, entitled “Gender Parity and Prohibition of Violence against Women” and presented by female Senator, Abiodun Olujimi from Ekiti south, during a  plenary session.

Mrs. Olujimi had enlightened that the bill seeks equal rights for women in marriage, education and job, explaining that if the bill was passed, a widow in Nigeria would automatically assume custody of her children in the event of the death of her husband, and would also inherit his property.

According to Mrs. Nweke, Nigeria more than ever before, needs more women in position of decision making levels in order to take the nation to its promised land, especially in the parliament.

She recalled that in Germany for instance, gender parity brought lots of development to the country, which is practically evident in the leadership offered by the Angela Dorothea Merkel, a German politician and former research scientist who has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005, and which has been globally acknowledged as government with human face.

She cited another instance with the recent report by the World Bank, which indicated that Rwanda, an African country tops chart with the highest proportion of women in parliament, with nearly 64 per cent of seats held by women in 2013. 

Whereas, globally, according to World Bank, women account for an average of about 20 per cent of parliamentary seats, up from 15 per cent a decade ago. 

This, she said, was followed in top 10 countries by Andorra at a flat 50 per cent and Cuba at 49 per cent. Even as Sweden has 44 per cent of parliamentary seats achieved as the only nation with such accomplishment held by women, without any gender quota.

Mrs. Nweke was particular about Rwanda, saying she was not surprised the level of progress the country has made in recent times, especially in the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for development and wants Nigeria and other African countries to emulate Rwanda in this regard.

Although the likes of deputy senate president, Ike Ekeremadu, supported the bill, it did not scale through first presentation. 

Other Senators like the Majority leader, Ali Ndume and Sani Yerima spoke out against the bill. While Ndume criticized the bill and urged Nigerians to stick with either religious or traditional marriage, his colleague, Yerima, a senator from Zamfara state, condemned the bill, insisting it was in conflict with the Nigerian Constitution.

Yermia said the bill negates the principles of the Sharia law, which the Constitution recognises.

The bill was reportedly rejected when the senate president, Bukola Saraki, put it to vote.

However, DNS Women Nigeria, expressed hope the gender parity bill will receive a better hearing when represented by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki after the initial rejection as certain portions may need to be refreshed to remove areas of high-conflict so as to enable it gain momentum.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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Pic: Nkemdilim Nweke, President/Founder, DNS Women Nigeria

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