A bill to amend the Police Act 2004 by expunging the gender-discriminatory provisions passed second reading in the Senate on Thursday.
This followed the presentation of the bill by the sponsor, Sen.Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP-Imo East) during the plenary.
Onyewuchi, who led the debate on the general principles of the bill, said the bill was read for the first time on October 10.
He said the bill sought to expunge the provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 from the principal act.
Onyewuchi noted that Regulation 122 restricts female police officers assigned to the General Duties Branch of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to telephone, clerical and office orderly duties.
He said: “Regulation 123 prohibits women police from drilling under arms; Regulation 124 mandates female police officers to apply for permission to marry while the intending fiancé is also investigated for criminal records.
“It also stipulates that a policewoman who is single at the time of enlistment must spend three years in service before applying for permission to marry.”
The lawmaker enumerated the duties of the police to include prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders and preservation of law and order, among others.
“Analysis of the Police Act and other regulatory/policy documents governing the internal and external workings of the Nigeria Police Force reveals a preponderance of discriminatory regulations and workplace practices that reinforce gender discrimination.
“Many of the police regulations particularly regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 are overtly discriminatory to female police officers,” the lawmaker added. (NAN)