By Seun Adeuyi,
The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), a non-governmental organisation, has appealed to the National Assembly to pass all gender responsive bills into law, to enable more development in the country.
Senior Executive Programmes and Project Coordinator, WRAPA, Yemisi Nathaniel, made the call while addressing journalists on the sidelines of a one-day roundtable inquiry session with the principal officers of the National Assembly on ‘status update of gender-responsive bills on the floor of the National Assembly’, in Abuja on Thursday.
The Bills include (HB.121) National Centre for Women Development Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019; (HB.197) National Hospital for Women and Children Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019; (HB. 795) Women’s Representation in Legislative Houses Bill, 2022; (HB. 1831) Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022; (HB. 1072) National Human Rights Commission (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2020; (HB. 191) Sexual Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and (HB. 792) Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, 2020 among others.
Nathaniel said violence against women would be properly addressed if these laws are approved.
On her part, Lilian Iveren Tyosar, Coordinator, National Grassroot Association of Nigeria, said the Bills that concern women and children are the most important that needed to be looked into.
“We have understood that it has been presented for the first time and they’re waiting for the different committee members who have actually presented the Bills to be available so that they can kick start from there,” she said.
Ibrahim Nurudeen, Programme Analyst, UN Women, said the meeting was necessary to get the Bills fast tracked and passed into law.
“Our position is clear as the UN. Ours is to see that every person; men, women, girls and boys and of course persons with disabilities and other factors that may warrant discrimination, enjoy their right to dignity and respect,” he said.
A Deputy Director at the National Assembly, Bature Musa, urged WRAPA not to relent in its push for the Bills to be signed into law.
“They should try and get in touch with the leadership of the House of Reps and I am sure they are always willing and ready to listen to them,” Musa said.
WRAPA, in May 2022, signed a Project Cooperation Agreement as one of the implementing partners of the European Union and the United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative (SI) Programme Phase II in Nigeria. WRAPA is focusing its work in FCT, Adamawa and Sokoto States.