National Assembly to fine tune Gender Equality Bill

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate says it is still working on Gender Equality Bill and presently creating more opportunities for the bill to be fine tuned.

Chairman Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and Tetfund, Senator Binta Masi made this known in Abuja while speaking on the development of Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards for the studies of Gender and Transformative Leadership programme in Nigeria Universities.

Senator Masi also said that Gender Parity should rather be considered in Nigeria to avoid abeyance of the gender equality bill with religious beliefs in the country.

She emphasised that the Nigerian constitution is not gender bias adding that every Nigerian is equal in the constitution irrespective of their gender.

“The Nigerian Senate did not throw away the gender equality bill but there are areas that needed to be fine tuned to avoid it from being in abeyance with the two religious beliefs we have in the country”

“When you talk about giving a woman an inheritance rights ,biblically and also in the Quran it has been taken care of so it shouldn’t be then we look at gender parity instead of gender equality which obviously men are running away from it but when we say gender parity it can be 60% to 40% i believe like this we are starting somewhere”

Speaking on the Academic benchmark for the studies of gender and transformative leadership, Senator masi said the essence is to bring equality of children irrespective of their gender.

On Gender and Transformative Leadership Curriculum, UNESCO Regional Director, Dr Benoir Sossou, said Nigeria is the first to integrate studies of the programme into her Universities system

Sossou disclosed that the Gender and Transformative Leadership curriculum has been developed and contextualised in 2014 for Nigeria by 40 experts .

He said that the curriculum would be introduced to Professors and Lecturers in all Nigerian Universities.

“The finalised Gender Transformative Leadership modules will be adopted as a General Studies as Course in Universities in Nigeria”

“The workshop will create opportunity to exchange and adapt the Gender and Transformative Leadership modules in Nigeria universities curricula.

Speaking on the importance of the Course to Nigeria Universities, The Deputy Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Professor Chiedu Mafiana ,said the development of the Benchmark will help the youths in critical thinking on governance and politics .

“It will help youths in Nigeria in respect of gender opportunities, it will also help in eradicating gender barriers in the country”

“the programme will also create opportunities for youth in Colleges of education and technology”