The International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, has berated the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, for encouraging the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Nigerian men to marry second wives.
FIDA, which is the umbrella body of female legal practitioners in the country, insisted that such call from the lawmaker was “disparaging and meant to demean Nigeria women”.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, FIDA said it was outraged by the fact that Ndume gave the advice on the floor of the hallowed chambers of the Senate, saying such utterance portrayed women as “sex objects”.
“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 No 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 which 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 group stated.
“The Holy Bible which Senator Ndume referred to does not recognise polygamy as the wording 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 trivialise the role of women in the society,” the statement signed by FIDA Country Vice President/National President, Mrs Inime Aguma, read.
Ndume had during a debate at the Senate earlier this week, on the International Women’s Day, urged the Senate President, Saraki, to consider taking another wife, even as he also implored Nigerian men to marry more than one wife, a situation he said would enable them to show more care to women.