Most times, Nigeria just breaks your heart. Breaks it into smithereens and when you think you cannot hurt anymore, it stomps on the broken pieces and makes you whimper with pain at the futility of a nation that always seeks to punish the innocent and protect the guilty.
You fight and you talk and you reason and you beg, and still men such as Emmanuel Bwacha will stand in the Senate and speak against a Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill that was meant to move a nation forward and give us all equal rights, on the basis of a deep biblical and historical perspective.
This Bill did not even make it to the second hearing.
Gve me a minute please. I’m short of breath while yet looking for words. Please. Bear with me…
Basically, this Bill focuses on eliminating discrimination based on gender in the fields of politics, education and employment. It also prohibits violence —domestic and sexual—against women. Widows were to have protection from inhuman, degrading treatment; young girls were to be protected; wives were to be treated like humans; social mores and practices were to be modified to allow for the liberation and equal treatment of women.
Emmanuel Bwacha and his cronies were not having it however. He insisted that women were dirt, scum, less than animals, and upheld this view using the Bible and tradition alternately as grounds for ongoing prejudice and violence against women.
Posterity will remember you, Bwacha, as the man who had the opportunity to protect the weak, the feeble, the oppressed and did not rise to the challenge. For shame.
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