By Chuwang Dung
A non governmental organisation, UN Women in Gombe State, has solicited the support of the state government to ensure speedy passage and domestication of the proposed Gender and Equal Opportunities for All Persons bill.
The Gender Technical advisor of the organisation in Gombe State, Mrs. Rhoda Zira-Dia, made the appeal during an advocacy visit to the state Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Abdulhamid Ibrahim.
She said that the “gender and equal opportunities for persons bill” is not meant to equate women with men, or seek to turn women against men, but want the society to give all persons equal opportunities for growth and development.
While thanking the Commissioner for the support the organisation is getting from government through the Ministry of Women Affairs in ensuring the bill becomes a law, she explained that. The journey to ensure the passage of the gender bill into law began in March 2016, with the constitution of a Technical Working Committee, which was later divided into four sub-committees to ensure that the bill is understood and accepted by all people in the State.
She further disclosed that the draft was reviewed by stakeholders made up of religious leaders, traditional rulers, civil society organizations, relevant government agencies and the media to suit the cultural and religious context practice in th state.
“Their sole responsibility is to review the bill in the context of Gombe State, looking at our religion, our culture, so that we don’t bring what is being practiced from other states to Gombe. So they really worked very hard for over a year. They have been sitting from time to time to reviewing the bill back to back and at the end of the day, they have come up with a draft of what will be domesticated in Gombe,” Zira-Dia said.
She said already two states in the country, Adamawa and Plateau states have passed the bill into law.
While responding, the Commissioner gave the assurance that the state government will put all machinery in place to facilitate the speedy passage of the bill which is already before the State Assembly.
“I want to assure you in the same spirit and the belief that, what gathered us today together is the intention of making sure that whatsoever law is put in place should also be helpful to Gombe State. Our State cannot be an exception”, he said.