Nigerian delegates battled frantically to defend the countrys stringent laws that tend to favour men at the expense of women.The delegates noted in their responses that the enabling environment created in Nigeria by the return to democratic rule had given rise to a vibrant civil society engaged in promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls, as well as preventing and eliminating discrimination against them.Meriem Belmihoub, an expert from Algeria noted the large turn out of women in Nigerias delegation for a two hour session and expressed hope that women are equally represented at the federal level of Nigerias political life and governance, especially in appointment positions.Although kudos was given to Nigerias efforts to close the gender gap, committee experts lamented that, despite promises announced in the past to increase to 30 per cent the percentage of women in legislative posts, men still accounted for 90 per cent of the countrys legislature.Senator Ekaettes bill which has made two unsuccessful outings on the floor of the senate prescribes three months imprisonment for ladies who display their belly buttons, breasts or wear mini skirts in public places. The breast of a female above the age of 14 years; ii.The laps of a female above the age of 14 years; iii.While they criticized the proposed public nudity law that attempted to limit womens rights, they insisted that more must be done to lower Nigerias maternal mortality rate -- the second highest in the world.
Senator Eme Ufot Ekaette who formed membership of Nigerias 73 member delegation at the occasion could not utter a word in defense of the bill she vehemently pursues at home.
Rape was also identified as a global concern at the convention especially in Nigeria where women dont usually report it owing to the stigma attached to it.
The Committee experts that attended the conference further argued against the norm that rape translates to adultery if women could not prove it.
Nudity Bill which is still facing opposition at home was also discussed.
Nigerias presentation attracted reactions across the length and the breath of the audience who were experts and delegates from several countries.