Nigerian Senate President pledges support for Gender and Equally Opportunities Bill

UN Women Nigeria together with the technical working committee reviewing the Gender and Equally Opportunities Bill on Thursday June 3, 2021, embarked on a high-level advocacy visit to Nigerian Senate President, His Excellency Ahmed Lawan at the Senate Building, National Assembly Complex in Abuja to seek his support as a co-sponsor of the bill pending passage at the National Assembly.

Date: Friday, July 9, 2021

The delegation led by UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria Ms. Comfort Lamptey, District Senator Abiodun Olujimi and the Minster of Women Affairs, HE Dame Pauline Tallen (represented by Dr. Asabe Bashir Director General National Centre for Women Development) presented the Gender and Equally Opportunities Bill (GEOB) which had been revised to address all major objections raised during its attempted passage during the Eighth National Assembly.

Ms. Comfort Lamptey during the high-level visit noted that the GEOB seeks to address all discriminatory social norms that undermined rights of women in Nigeria, which the GEO Bill seeks to redress. She further commended the H.E Ahmed Lawan for the passage of the Bill on Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions and commitment to the ongoing national assembly review of the constitution and electoral act to make it gender inclusive.

H.E Ahmed Lawan, Senate President (4th from left) in a group photo with some senators and the visiting delegation after receiving the Gender and Equally Opportunity Bill.  Photo: UN Women/ Marian Roberts

H.E Ahmed Lawan, Senate President (4th from left) in a group photo with some senators and the visiting delegation after receiving the Gender and Equally Opportunity Bill.  Photo: UN Women/ Marian Roberts

In response, Senate President HE Ahmed Lawan indicated that Nigeria had not done enough to give Nigerian women the opportunities they deserved and lauded UN Women for supporting the technical working committee’s effort for working hard to build a consensus that identifies and addresses the gender diversity of the country. He pledged his support to advance the full participation of women in the development process of the country. 

“It is important that we work hard to give women and girls opportunity to participate and be better represented in Nigeria’s economy and politics through affirmative action.” H.E Ahmed Lawan, Senate President.

The delegation also included Princess Joan Jummai Idonijie, Barrister Ebere Ifendu, Olufunke Oladipo, Prof. Joy Ezeilo, Toun Okewale, Bukky Williams, Eqy Anazonwu, Desmond Osalobo and Chundung Ashley Dauda.

The GEOB Technical Working Committee, was established on September 2020 with support from UN Women, and comprises of nine members with participation of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs. One of the key objectives of the Technical Working Committee is to Identify and reach out to potential key influencers and HeForShe champions to support the GEOB to design appropriate advocacy strategies.

More information:
  • Faith Bwibo - Communication Specialist, UN Women Nigeria - faith.bwibo@unwomen.org