Today is the day the Gender and Equal Opportunities bill (#GEOBill) is up for public hearing at the National Assembly in Nigeria. After months of controversy and initially being rejected by the senate, the bill was "re-assessed" aka watered down, and re-presented. This version (click here to read - downloadable pdf) is what is up for public hearing, and addresses, among other things, inheritance law, equal opportunities in education, workplace discrimination, and maternity rights. What is being presented is in no way adequate, but it IS a beginning.
Key clauses addressing age of consent, reproductive rights, legal age of marriage, and sexual violence were left out, and while it is a huge issue that archaic ideas of what Nigerian culture is, and what it represents meant that vital parts were dropped, I acknowledge and accept that we must start somewhere.
These are some of the points I discussed a couple of days ago, when I was invited to discuss this issue and how it affects young Nigerians on a radio show called "Above Whispers on Air" on WFM.