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Gender equality: Paul Unongo advises Northern Senators to reconsider Bill



The Deputy National Leader of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Dr. Paul Unongo, has lamented the recent disapproval of the gender equality and opportunity bill.

Unongo, on Thursday, told The Punch that the rejection of the bill was a major setback in the advocacy for women’s rights.

It would be recalled that the gender equality and opportunity bill sought to promote equal opportunities, advancement of all persons, and prohibition of violence against women among many others.

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi from Ekiti South, was opposed by many male senators mainly from the northern part of the country on the grounds that it was both anti-lslamic and unconstitutional.

The senator who disapproved the bill included the former Zamfara State governor, Ahmed Sanni Yerima, Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East), Senators Ibn Na’allah (Kebbi South) and Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South).

Unongo, a former Power And Steel Minister in the Second Republic, expressed his displeasure over the rejection, saying there was nothing in Christianity and Islam that is against the empowerment of women and creating opportunities for them.

He said there were plans to convince the northern senators to reconsider the bill because it would empower Nigerian women.

The NEF leader said, “I am planning a meeting with the northern senators in Abuja to enable them see the reason why they shouldn’t quash the bill. I do not believe that Islam is against giving more opportunities for women and enhance their performance.

“I also think that it is a wrong interpretation of the bible that women are inferior or do not deserve to have equal rights as men. My judgment as an elder is that the bill should be reconsidered.

“Some women have demonstrated courage and capacity to handle complex problems and have performed more than their male counterparts in some cases,” Unongo stated.


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