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The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria is a Non-Governmental, Non-Profit Organization made up of women lawyers which was formed in 1964....
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-To enhance and promote the welfare of women and children, realizing that on women and children’s well being depend the happiness of the home and strength of the society.
FIDA Condemns statement from Senator Ali Ndume “Saying Men Should Marry Multiple Wives
- Published on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 16:55
- Written by Ugonna Bestman Elerueanya
Our attention is drawn to a news item on page 12 of the Thisday News Paper of March 9, 2016, captioned “Ndume Asks Saraki to Take Second Wife”.
The article goes further to state that Senator Ndume emphasized that the “First care” of a woman was marriage. “Men should take care of women by not just befriending them, but going further to marry them. I know there is nowhere in the Bible that prohibits marrying more than one wife “Starting with the Senate President, I ask him to consider marrying more than one wife”. Ndume, thereafter, made a formal request to the senate
to declare that Nigerian men should marry more than one wife”. The Newspaper report further stated that his request was seconded by Suleiman Nazif, a senator from Bauchi State.
FIDA Nigeria is outraged by these utterances on the floor of the hallowed Chambers of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The remarks made by Senator Ndume are disparaging and meant to demean the women of Nigeria and portray them as “Sex objects”, whose clamour for gender equality can be realized by being married off by men.
May we remind the Senator that Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and his utterances negate the provisions of Article 16 that ‘State parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and the General Recommendation in Article No. 21 states that: “Polygamous marriage contravenes a woman’s right to equality with men, and can have such serious emotional and financial consequences for her and her dependents that such marriage ought to be discouraged and prohibited”.
The Marriage Act in the interpretation Section defines monogamous marriage and Sections 33, 39, 45, 46 and 47 prescribe punishments for polygamy for persons married under the Act. Furthermore, Sections 370 of the Criminal Code criminalizes bigamy.
The Holy Bible which Senator Ndume referred to does not recognize polygamy as the wordings of Mathew 19: 4 – 6 refers to the union of one man and woman to the exclusion of any other being.
FIDA Nigeria states that on March 8, 2016, men all around the world adopted policies to accelerate gender equality in support of the theme “Planet 50 – 50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equity”
We urge Senator Ndume and other distinguished Senators to pledge for “Gender parity” and not trivialize the role of women in the society.
FIDA Nigeria stands with the female Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and say ‘No” to this degrading motion moved by Senator Ali Ndume.
Mrs. Inime Aguma
Country Vice President/National President
International Federation of women Lawyers