ABUJA— THE Senate, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts to ensure the release of the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents 690 days ago. According to the Senate, the Federal Government should also come up with micro-economic policies that will encourage women to participate in small scale businesses. It expressed readiness to reform relevant laws to ensure that certain quota was reserved exclusively for women in the three arms of government. These resolutions were sequel to a motion on International Women’s Day by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, APC, Lagos Central.
In her presentation, Senator Tinubu, who decried the growing gender inequality in the country, in spite of several gender friendly laws, said Nigerian women had suffered several forms of discrimination, ranging from abduction, rape to male dominance on inheritance. She said: “I am concerned that rape is on the increase in the country and this is with little prosecution. There is, therefore, a need for re-orientation on gender equality, women’s rights and adequate allocation of resources.”
In his contribution, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who expressed concern that in spite of the growing level of democracy in the country, the representation of women in all arms of government was dwindling, said that if not promptly addressed, the trend would lead to non-representation of women in governance, adding that such would be detrimental to the development of the country. Also in her contribution, Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujinmi, PDP, Ekiti South, called for solution to child marriage and other practices that had been detrimental to the survival of the girl-child in the society. He noted that all the issues plaguing women should be placed in their proper perspectives, if Nigeria as a country must reap the benefits of having the girl-child. She said: “ Mr. President, today is our day, the International Women’s Day.
I want to congratulate the chairman of the women affairs committee, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who brought up this motion. “We want the whole world to put on the front burner the issues of gender equality, the issues of our children, the issues of rape, the issues of abduction and the issues of child marriage. we have to put all of them on the proper perspective for the country to be able to reap from the benefits. ‘
’Whichever way you want to see it, we are the salt of the earth. We make everything fine and where ever we are as women, there is always sanity, probity and there is always accountability.’ In his remarks, President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, noted that the 8th Senate would ensure that amendment of all relevant laws were carried out to involve more women in government.