By Ndidi Chukwu
To ensure women and girls enjoy equal opportunity as men, the National Coalition on Affirmative Action and Vaccine Network for Disease Control, has decried delayed public hearing of the Gender and Equal Opportunity bill.
Chief Oversight Officer for Vaccine Network For Disease Control, Mrs Chika Offor who spoke on behalf of the group said the Gender and Equal Opportunity bill will guarantee the rights of women to access equal opportunities in life .
She made the disclosure while briefing journalist on the sideline of the passage of the Gender Equal Opportunity bill in Abuja.
She said the signing of the bill will put an end to issues of gender discrimination in both public and political life.
The Coalition also called on the law makers to call for the public hearing of the GEO bill.
Offor added that “The bill will provide equal opportunities in terms of employment , equal right to inheritance for both male and the female children. It will protect the rights of widows , and the prohibition of violence towards women”.
She further reteirated that every single day, Nigeria loses 145 women of childbearing age, making it to be the second largest contributor to maternal mortality rate in the world,
“The worst health indicator in the country shows that more women are dying than men .Every single day , Nigeria loses 145 women of child bearing age, making her the second largest contributor to maternal mortality rate in the world.
Some women do not know their right ,especially to determine when they want to have sex.”
The Executive Director Initiative for Girls , Abiodun Essiet , also charged the legislators to urgently call for the public hearing of the Gender and Equal Opportunity bill.
She advised gender responsive legislators at the state level to introduce the GEO Bill in states where it is not within the legislative process.
Essiet explained that the Gender and equal opportunity bill will promote National development , irrespective of the sex.
In the same vein, she urged journalist to help in advocating for the GEO bill , so it can be passed on time.
“The media need to be at the forefront of the advocacy, by engaging policy makers at the critical time of electoral campaign. They should ask critical questions about their contributions towards the emancipation of women in Nigeria”.
The Coordinator Gender Technical Unit National Assembly, Mrs Eqy Anazonwu also called for the domestication of the GEO bill.
She harped on the fact that the patriarchal system of the society, brings about discrimination which is targeted at women.
“We are speaking on behalf of countless women who cannot express their mind. The bill has passed second reading. We are calling on the senate committee on judiciary to call for the hearing of the bill”