Hear Them Roar
Listen to Today's Edition
Nigeria’s lower house of parliament rescinded its decision to discard three gender equality bills Tuesday, following outrage and mass protests from women in the West African country, Al Jazeera reported.
Last week, lawmakers rejected the bills described by women’s rights activists as “a slap to the face of Nigerian women.”
The proposed amendments included granting citizenship to the foreign-born husbands of Nigerian women, assigning 35 percent of the country’s legislative seats to women and reserving 35 percent of political party leadership positions for women.
The reversal came hours after thousands of women launched demonstrations in three states and the commercial capital of Lagos on International Women’s Day. It was the second such protest in a week, with protesters also calling for justice following the recent spate of sexual violence and ritual killings targeting women.
About half of Nigeria’s population is female but women are rare in politics and the government: Female lawmakers make up about 4 percent of the legislature, a decrease from the 5.8 percent in 2015.
Analysts and advocates have said that a lack of women’s participation in government contributes to the erosion of women’s rights in Nigeria, as well as the high proportion of gender-based violence and economic inequality.