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Group seeks legislation against gender inequality, cultural practices

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By Ruth Oginyi

Alliance for Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has called for new legislation that will criminalise gender inequality and harmful traditional practices against women in Nigeria.

The executive director, of the NGO in South East, Mrs. Blessing Duru, made the call in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, during a statewide stakeholders’ consultation meeting on developing and adopting strategies to address systematic inequalities.

Duru noted that there was need for the country to have a legal framework that can support women and address inequality in terms of leadership. She said some culture and norms which were not the true reflection of Nigeria’s current identity, such as denial of widows’ rights, should be reviewed to suit the current society or dropped entirely.

“The issue of inequality is deeply rooted in terms of the policies, structures, norms, and practices that we live within the South Eastern part of the country and we have seen that this type of inequality does not positively project us, do not give women the opportunity to excel career-wise in their aspiration as human beings.

“We can find this even in workplaces, schools, at home parent practise it without knowing that they are discriminatory on their children either a boy or a girl so our aim is how do we begin to identify them in the forms that they appear and how do we begin to sensitize, create awareness for people to learn new ways of doing things because some of this inequality structures we are talking about are long age, we need to review it and move on.

“With that if political parties refused to adhere to that they can be sued but in policy, you can’t take them anywhere even in our Electoral Act it can be enshrined so we want to see a legal framework that can support women and addresses inequality in terms of leadership.

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