How Nigeria’s Constitution Is Gender Insensitive

Nigerian female legislators under the auspices of women in parliament (WIP) committee of the National Assembly has pointed out that the language of Nigerian laws is gender-biased and insensitive to women.

They spoke at the end of the two-day annual retreat of women in parliament for national and state house of assemblies held in Lagos in collaboration with YIAGA Africa.

In a communique signed by its Chairman, House Committee on Women in Parliament, Hon. Taiwo Oluga, it noted that the Nigerian constitution has gender insensitive words which was mentioned about 66 times and the electoral act has gender insensitive words mentioned about 68 times.

While calling on the national assembly Constitution review committee to consider reviewing the drafting style and language of the constitution by deleting the descriptive pronoun “He” as presented in the constitution and replacing it with “He/She” or “Person”, the committee clamoured for an inclusive constitution that acknowledges women.

Similarly, the committee decried the increasing insecurity across the country but however applauded the untiring efforts of the country’s security agents particularly those in the battlefield of the North-East.

“Women and children are the greatest victims of the nefarious activities of insurgents, kidnappers, armed robbers. We lend our voice for the rejuvenation of our security approach for improved results”.

The committee also frowned at the decline in number of women in appointive and elective positions in the country, noting that there was a significant drop after the 2019 election. It further urged the national assembly to take intentional steps in the spirit of this year’s International Women’s Day to promote women’s inclusion in governance and politics.

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