A coalition of women group in Anambra State under the auspices of Gender and Constitution Reform Network (GECORN), Monday, advocated for constitutional review to accommodate the rights of women in Nigeria and ends to discrimination.
GECORN, which staged a walk along the Awka portions of Enugu/Onitsha expressway and other strategic locations with placards of different inscriptions, also demanded for full implementations of various Acts and laws that ruled out discrimination against women in Anambra state and other parts of the country.
Chairperson of the coalition, Prof. Ogugua Ikpeze, said the advocacy campaign supported by Ford Foundation, was apt given that the language of the 1999 constitution is masculine, discriminatory against women as well as disregard existence of women.
Ikpeze, a professor of Law, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, stated that sections 22, 42, 146 and others in the constitution should be amended to be gender balance, women friendly and explicitly define the rights of women for easy interpretation and implementations.
She said, “The road walk is an advocacy campaign to sensitise the public especially the constitutional reviewers on the need for rights of women to be properly accommodated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The constitution is the supreme. Therefore, it should be amended in a way that any culture, custom and practices repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience should be removed.”
Also speaking a member of the coalition, Ms Ogechi Ehiahurike, argued that the 1999 constitution mentioned masculine gender 235 times and females only two times, identifying harmful widowhood practises, child marriage, rape and inheritance problems as among discriminations against women in Anambra state and other South Eastern states.
Also speaking, Chairperson of the coalition in Imo State, Dr Rose Adiukwu, identified other programmes they embarked upon to press home their demands to include advocacy visitations to stakeholders, radio programmes, August meetings, amongst others.
Others, Mrs Amala Mojeke and Mrs Eucharia Anaekwu called on governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and his counterparts to expedite actions towards full implementations of VAPP laws and others so as to prevent all forms of discriminations against women.