By Dapo Akinrefon
THE Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, Wednesday, restated his commitment to advancing women’s right and full participation in governance, just as he pledged support for the revised Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, GEO, Bill.
In a statement by women rights promoter and radio entrepreneur, Toun Sonaiya, Lawan made the commitment during a high-level advocacy visit by a group of United Nations women in Nigeria, to seek his support as co-sponsor of the revised GEO Bill.
The team presented the revised GEO Bill, which has adopted recommendations that addressed initial objections.
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The GEO Bill was revised by a Technical Working Committee established under the auspices of the office of Senator Abiodun Olujimi and United Nations Women chaired by Saudatu Mahdi.
The Senate President, who gave his support in principle, said: “Women make up half of Nigeria’s population, therefore, they should not be denied the opportunity to serve government at all levels.”
The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill was initially sponsored by Senator Abiodun Olujimi in 2015.
The advocacy visit team included the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, represented by the Director-General, National Centre for Women Development, Dr. Asabe V. Bashir; UN Women Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey; Professor Joy Ezeilo, Ebere Ifendu, Princess Jummai Idonije, Olabukunola Williams, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, and the bill sponsor, Senator Olujimi.