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Activists harp on accelerated passage of gender equality bill

An activist, Mr Hamzat Lawal has called for the passage of  the bill on gender equality by the National Assembly before the expiration of the present administration.

According to him, the passage of the bill will ensure that women  are accorded their dignity and rightful place in all spheres of human endeavours in the country.

House of Representatives

The activist made the call in an interview with the Newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the need for a gender equality act could not be over emphasised in a dynamic society where girls and women needed to pursue choice careers and actualise their potential without any hindrance.

Lawal, who is the Chief Executive, Connected Development (CODE), an NGO, said that the gender bill, when passed would ensure that women were protected from any form of  discrimination on the basis of  gender.

The activist noted that the passage of the bill would also give women greater sense of belonging and their participation in social vices such as cultism would be drastically reduced.

“As a society, we need to support women more and as well have strong policy and institution that will ensure that such policies are implemented.

“There is no equity in the country and if there is no equity there will be no justice, thereby leading to no peace in the country.’’

An Islamic scholar, Alhaji Biola Lawal noted that the female gender “is a symbol of honour and respect for every society, hence the need for the safety of women wherever they may find themselves.’’

He said that girls join cults for different reasons ranging from economic to fun and the need to imbibe western values being promoted through the movies on the television or cable networks and in the social media.

“The sad thing is that the fun which girls think is involved in cultism will be cut short, leaving them with nothing but regrets.

“A campaign should be packaged in such a way to make girls and women who are involved in it to pull out, while those who are not should not even consider it.’’

A psychologist, Mr David Tanko urged parents to encourage their children to be educated and enlighten them on the need to shun social vices such as cultism.

“Parents should start educating the girl-child at a tender age on the dangers of cultism and the passage of the bill will help to defend their rights.

“The girl-child has a positive role to play as a useful and responsible adult in the society and so the parents should enlighten her on the significance of living a decent life.’’

Tanko said that the school must also play its role in further moulding the character of the girl by educating her on the dangers of cultism.

Malam Abdullahi Mustapha, the Deputy Director, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center  blamed parents and the law enforcement agencies for the increasing rate of cult activities in the  society with a considerable rise in number of female members.

According to him, cultism is now a kind of legalised group whereby highly placed persons in the country, including renowned professors are boasting to be the patrons of cult groups in the country.

“We, as parents, should blame ourselves because when you are doing something that you yourself know is not acceptable to the society; you should be able to hide it from your children.

Natasha Benjamin, a social activist in the University of Jos, said inferiority complex was a major factor that had led to the rise in cultism among young girls and even women.

She, however, advised that every girl or woman should hold on to God as pillar of strength and be optimistic about their  future that things will get better in spite of their present predicaments.

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