Social media campaign calling for reintroduction of five gender bills debuts in Abuja

A coalition of gender organizations advocating for the reintroduction of five gender bills that were earlier killed in the 9th National Assembly will launch a social media campaign in Abuja on Thursday.

The campaign, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Palladium, aims to stimulate public discussion through the launch of a hashtag and signature campaign. It targets a variety of stakeholders, including political leaders, members of parliament, women in politics, and the general public.

The organization, comprised of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), Womanifesto, National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA), Gender and Constitutional Reform Network (GCRN), SAGE, and Gender Mobile, has launched an “advocacy hashtag and signature campaign” let’s start doing …. In a landmark initiative aimed at facilitating the passage of five bills on gender in Nigeria.

Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Founder and Executive Director of WARDC, said in a communiqué that the Gender Bill Cluster brings together key players in the social media and influencer space in Nigeria.

She regretfully points out: Despite having half the population and voter registration, the numbers remain dire.

“This campaign will address key gender disparities in the 1999 Constitution. This is done to bring full awareness to the flaws in the Constitution and to draw the attention of parliamentarians and the public to the need for a representative constitution.

“This event will bring together major social media figures and influencers in Nigeria.

“The constitution itself contains provisions that perpetuate gender bias, including its silence on women’s citizenship rights.”

Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi added: “There is an urgent need to address these disparities and ensure gender equality and women’s participation in all areas of life.”

The five gender-related bills are: A bill to give women special seats in parliament, affirmative action for women in political party administration (35% of executive positions), and a bill to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of Nigerian women. Already, foreign-born wives of Nigerian men automatically become Nigerian citizens.

The other two bills are: A bill would allow married indigenous women to choose their place of origin, and a final bill would require ministerial appointments to include at least 10 percent affirmative action in favor of women.

Recall that in 2022, the 9th Congress repealed these bills. Womenfest, a feminist, non-political, women-focused group comprised of over 500 organizations across Nigeria, led protests against the National Assembly after the bill was defeated.

The Gender Cluster Group was formed after this defeat and continues to conduct advocacy visits and media awareness campaigns about the bill and its impact on Nigerian women.

Amid growing calls for gender equality led by the United Nations, which emphasizes that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but also a necessary foundation for a peaceful and prosperous society, the coalition is reviewing the bill’s enactment. I’m thinking of reviving it. By 2024.

“The United Nations has repeatedly emphasized that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but also a necessary foundation for peaceful and prosperous societies (UN Women). half of the population is marginalized due to social norms and social norms,” the group said.

The conference is expected to be attended by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, Prime Minister Nkiru Onyejocha and other key influencers at the launch.


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