Enugu women protest delay in gender equality right bill

ENUGU Women, under the auspices of Women Aid Collective, last Thursday, protested the delay in signing into law the Gender Equality Bill before the state assembly.

The women, in their hundreds, stormed Enugu State House of Assembly Complex where they presented their grievances over the delay in accelerating the passage of the bill into law.

Speaking before the protesters, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Chief Edward Uchenna Ubosi, assured them that the Gender Equality Bill before the House would receive accelerated passage into law.

Ubosi, who though said the bill might receive accelerated passage, acknowledged that the Bill was a contentious one that forced them to step down debate on it for further consideration.

He pointed out that because of the contentious nature of the Bill, certain clauses had to be expunged before it would see the light of the day.

“The Bill is a contentious one and I used my position and said we should step it down so that we could look at it diligently.  We shall expunge some sections of the Bill before its passage.  But I want to assure you that we’ll give the Bill accelerated passage,” he assured.

Ubosi said that PDP, as a party, was gender friendly and thus had been giving women opportunity to participate in partisan politics by reducing the hurdles before vying for elective positions.

Leader of the delegation and president of Women Aid Collective, WACOL, a non-governmental organisatio, NGO, Professor Joy Ezeilo, told the speaker that they were at the Assembly to solicit their help that the Equality Bill be passed into law as well as other laws that affect women, pointing out that women and children ought to be protected in the society.

The delegation, which sought that women be given equal opportunities with the men carried placards that read in part, “give women a chance”; “women’s rights are human rights”; “equality for women is equality for men”; “women too can lead”, among other things.”