A coalition of over 50 women groups on Wednesday said they have come to the realization with shock that a greater percentage of the men at the National Assembly didn’t really go to school.
Speaking on Wednesday when they staged a protest and barricaded the entrance to the National Assembly, (NASS), they said the constitution review has exposed many of them as illiterates.
The women were apparently protesting the non-approval of bills designed to create more opportunities for women in governance.
The Senate had specifically voted against a bill to provide for special seat for women in the National and State House of Assembly, bill to Provide for Affirmative Action for Women in Political Party Administration and a bill to provide Reserved Quota for Women.
Ebere Ifendu who spoke at the gate of the National Assembly said most of the lawmakers could not even understand the bills because it took the speaker to introduce every bill and explain the bill as if he was teaching nursery school pupils.
“Some of them did not know how to vote, it played out yesterday, so what happened yesterday we are not complaining anymore, but what we are saying today we are here is that there will be payback time.
“I am saying it again that history will not be kind to the people that voted against us yesterday. “They didn’t vote against the women groups, but they voted against their wives, against their mothers and against their daughters and shamelessly they will go home to claim to be the head of the family when you do not have their interest at heart, it is an embarrassment, it should be more embarrassing to them for what they did yesterday right in front of us.
“I was there myself with the wife of the vice President and I witnessed what happened. Before talking about the wife President being there what happened yesterday was a show of shame not because we had the second Lady, minister of Women Affairs and other women leaders.
“We are waiting for the Senate President and his Deputy, speaker and his deputy. They must come here to tell us how.”
The National Assembly had yesterday voted against the bills on provision of more political opportunities and representation of more women in the constitution.
One of the leaders, who spoke to Journalists Dr Abiola Akinyode said the actions of the lawmakers was a manifestation of the historical Injustice affecting the voice and participation of women in Nigeria.
She said what transpired at the National Assembly was a continuation of the impunity against women in Nigeria.
Akinyode demanded that the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives must find a way of redressing the issues, saying that the women would not relent in the struggle.
She said the women planned to continue the protest in all parts of the country.
She said the request from the Women on the review of the constitution was not out of place, hence should be considered.
Sen. Enyinya Abaribe, Senate Minority leader, who walked in to the scene of the protest responded, saying that the voting process of the lawmakers was a public document and enjoined the women to request the leadership of NASS to release the document of who and who voted “Yes or No” on the women bills.
He said he would convey the request of the women to the leadership of the Senate to have an audience with them.
The protesting women, adorned in various attires of various designs chanted solidarity songs, while inhibiting free flow of vehicular movement to NASS.
The Women vowed to continue their protest until the perceived injustice done to them was redressed.
“This is just day one, we will have actions across the country, we are not going to allow this to go like other times because we may not get this opportunity until maybe another 20 years.”
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