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Edo First Lady appeals for passage of Gender, Violence Bills

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First Lady of Edo State, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, has appealed to the Edo State House of Assembly to speedily pass two pending bills on gender violence elimination.

Mrs Obaseki made this plea when she paid an advocacy visit to the House to mark the 2017 International Women’s Day celebration in Benin yesterday.

On the importance of the bill, she noted that speedy passage of the bills – Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill 2016 and Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Place – would help to bridge the existing gap in gender issues.

In addition, the First Lady said that the country had done well in mainstreaming gender issues, but noted that more needed to be done, as there were still specific issues to be dealt with.

“Today is the international women day, and we thought it wise to use this day to seek to support the issues pertaining to gender issues. We are here to advocate that the speaker takes a close look at the bills and facilitate quick hearing and passage”, she said.

In his response, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Justin Okonoboh commended the First Lady and her entourage for the advocacy visit and congratulated them on the women’s day celebration.

He said that the house was gender sensitive and poised to promote gender equality, while also expressing confidence that the house, having passed several bills relating to women and child right issues, would give speedy passage to the pending bills.

The speaker revealed that the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill 2016 had passed first reading and would be passed before the end of March.

He also assured them that the Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life would receive prompt attention and passed before the end of March.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mrs Elizabeth Ative, commended the First Lady for the advocacy visit saying it would be proper for the members of the house to facilitate passage of the bills.

Ative noted that the house was gender sensitive and accorded her the respect due her as the only female member of the house.She however, requested that the First Lady use her good office to persuade the governor to fulfil the UN affirmation of making about 35 percent of his appointments women.

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