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Anambra women traders receive sensitization on gender bills, seek greater inclusion in governance

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

Anambra women, mostly traders, last week received a sensitization and awareness creation programme organized by 100 Women Lobby Group to increase action on the proposed Gender Bills rejected by the National Assembly. 

The event, which was held in Awka, the Anambra state capital, was aimed at educating and de-mystifying the five rejected Gender Bills by the National Assembly to Anambra Women. It was also conceptualized to make the women hold their leaders accountable as their elected representatives, Orient Daily gathered.

Addressing the over 30 women traders drawn across major markets in Anambra, the State Coordinator, 100 Women Lobby Group, Anambra State Chapter, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Unachukwu, took the participants down the memory lane to explain the need for such bills, and recalled how the Gender Bills were rejected by members of the National Assembly on March 1, a month she described as the women’s month.

According to her, the five Gender Bills to include, Bill to provide special seats for women at national assembly; Affirmative action for women in political party administration; The bill seeking to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of a Nigerian woman (Already, a Nigerian man’s foreign-born wife is automatically a Nigerian citizen).

“Others are, the bill seeking to allocate 35 percent of political positions based on appointment to women and creation of additional 111 seats in National Assembly, as well as at the state constituent assemblies;  Inclusion of at least ten percent affirmative action in favour of women in Ministerial appointments”.

Unachukwu said that the five bills were designed to promote more opportunities for women in political parties, governance and the society at large, urging her audience to join forces with other women to call on the three senators and 11 House of Representative members in the state to reconsider all the gender bills that were rejected during the Constitution amendment in March.

In a remark, a member of 100 Women Lobby Group, Mrs. Ugochi Freeman, said that the men in the 9th Assembly, have through their actions, showed that they are unconstitutionally in support of the discrimination and political bias against women in the country. 

Also speaking, the chairperson, Association of  South East Traders, Chief Ifeyinwa Ezenwa, represented by Mrs. Blessing Okoye, described the programme as timely and an eye-opener for the women, promising to ensure that the women cascade the message to the grassroots.

This paper reports that the event was organized by 100 Women Lobby Group, Anambra State, under its Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project, and supported by Global Affairs Canada and Actionaid Nigeria.

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