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Gender Bills: Ondo first lady urges women to rise against discrimination



Ondo State Governor’s wife, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, beckoned on all women in the country to never be dragged down by any form of  discrimination against them rather, they should rise to fight against it.

After the recent rejection of the gender-related bills by the National Assembly,  there were protests from different women groups and associations, and as a result of these protests, the decision was reversed.

Anyanwu emphasized on how women in Nigeria experienced different shades of discrimination, battling bigotry and “confronting stubborn patriarchal tendencies in our social transactions.” This she said at the celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day, held in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday.

According to her part of the discrimination against women was “what played out at the National Assembly against the pro-female bills, and it confirmed our fear that there is a strategic attempt by the male folk to subtly subjugate the women.”

The first lady encouraged Ondo state women by saying,, “We cannot just wish this (discrimination against women) away as it may graduate to a suffocating stage if we further hesitate to confront the reactionary attitudes toward women’s rights. Good, we have spoken against the parliamentary injustice in clear and unmistakable terms and we are still speaking.

“As we progress, however, in our march towards emancipation, let us be our sisters’ keepers. I call on women across social, religious and political lines to unite in defense of womanhood. We all have roles to play in making sure that the status of women is improved at all fronts.

“We must also not lose sight of the need to strengthen the weak among us and the need to fortify the malleable ones with a competent compass as they navigate the murky socio-political terrain.”

However, state Commissioner for Woman Affairs and Social Development, Juliana Osadahun expressed delight that the NASS had reversed its action on the bill, hence commended the womenfolk for not giving up but protesting against the National Assembly’s rejection of the gender bills.

Osadahun stated that, “We cannot be celebrating IWD and fail to talk about the NASS repulsive legislation, women have reacted in unity and their decision was reversed. There is a lesson for the future. We need to celebrate ourselves as women because without us the world cannot multiply and replenish.”

Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is an Aquaculturist, philanthropist, and the First lady of Ondo State in Nigeria. She is a feminist and gender activist.