NIGERIA'S SENATE REJECTS GENDER EQUALITY BILL

Nigeria has rejected The Gender and equality opportunities Bill, aimed at eliminating "all forms of discrimination" against women because it is an attack on its religious beliefs.

The bill looked to protect Nigerian women from the violence and provide them with the same marital rights as their male counterparts including the rights of widows to inherit their husband's property.

The bill was introduced by Senator Abiodun Olujimi but did not pass a second reading as opponents rejected it as an attack on religious beliefs and the Nigerian constitution, reports Quartz.

Overtly incorporating parts of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the bill declared that women "shall not be subjected to inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment" and "shall have the right to an equitable share in the inheritance of the property of her husband."

It detailed how women should have the right to fully participate in political activities including the right to vote and be eligible for all publicly elected offices without any restrictions.

One Senate opponent quoted the Bible in a speech declaring his aversion.

A Muslim senator told the BBC that in Islam, women get a half of men's share in inheritance and it is unacceptable to change this.

Various Rights Activists have come out to condemn this decision by the Nigeria Senate stating that the bill was a good instrument and that it would protect women's equality in marriage, inheritance and education.

Human rights activist Bukky Shonibare says it was a sad day for Nigerian women.

"It shows how backward we are and how much we want to hold on to our lopsided religious and cultural beliefs," she told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme.

It is unfortunate that some men who see the emancipation of women as a threat are the ones being trusted with making laws and order, she added.

But some lawmakers voiced opposition, saying the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill is not compatible with Nigerian culture and religious beliefs.

Others said the constitution already recognizes the rights of everyone.

Here's how the Nigerian Feminist Forum has reacted to the rejection of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill by Nigeria's Senate.