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Tuesday, 20 April 2010 10:49

Women - Minister Seeks Action Against Obsolete Laws

LAGOS, Nigeria, April 20, (This Day) - Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Josphine Anenih, in Abuja urged Nigerian women to ensure that all laws that discriminate against them were expunged.


Speaking at the opening of a leadership training program me Anenih told Nigerian women to ensure that the Violence Against Women (VAW) bill and other women-friendly bills which were at the National Assembly were passed without further delay.


"Trail bills in the National Assembly and make sure that they are passed speedily and push for obsolete laws to be expunged," she told the 26 participants from 10 different women groups attending the programme.


She also observed that there were still many obsolete laws that were not gender sensitive, saying the literacy level among Nigerian women was high enough for them to challenge such laws.


Through such activities, Anenih said Nigerian women would justify the creation of the Ministry of Women Affairs, while at the same time make it impossible for the ministry to be scrapped.


She further said for Nigeria to become one of the leading economies in the world by 2020 as projected by the Federal Government , women should assume their roles as asset managers or change agents in order to reposition the country.


The Minister called on women groups not to give up in their fight to make life better for their fellow women, saying the work they were doing in the rural areas were noticed.


Anenih said she would build on the activities of her predecessors, adding that her doors would be open for inputs on how to make life better for Nigerian women.


Also speaking ,the President of National Council for Women Societies, Hajia Ramatu Bala-Usman, said Nigeria needed to review its ' standards and codes" as such laws were passed "when things were good".


Going by the increasing incidence of rape in the country, it appears that "Nigerian men are becoming barbaric" meaning that stringent laws should be enacted to punish men that rape.


She wondered how a man could be sent to prison for stealing a goat, whereas another man that raped a two year old girl went scotch free.


Bala-Usman commended Anenih for her decision to continue where her predecessors stopped and for her decision to hold discussions with former ministers of women affairs, women groups and other stakeholders before she began implementing activities as a minister.



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