Senate Moves To End Discrimination Against Female Police officers

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A Bill seeking to provide equal rights for female police officers as their male counterparts has passed second reading on the floor of the senate.
The bill which seeks to amend the Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 and expunge the gender discriminatory provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 87) was sponsored by Senator Francis Onyewuchi (Imo East).
Regulations 122,123,124 and 127 which the bill is seeking to expunge restrict female officers to desk duties, prevent them from drilling under arms, make them apply before they get married and discipline those of them who get pregnant.
“This bill seeks to amend the police act (Cap P19), laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 by expunging the gender-discriminatory provisions of regulations 122,123,124 and 127,” Senator Onyewuchi said.
“Essentially, this bill seeks to expunge the provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124, and 127 from the principal act.
“The examination of gender issues covers various spheres of policy and practice ranging from language, recruitment, training, and posting; to marriage, pregnancy and childbearing.
“Many of the police regulations, particularly regulations 122, 123,124 and 127 are overly discriminatory to female police officers.
“Since a male police officer is not subjected to the same inhibitions, the current regulations are inconsistent with section 42 of the constitution and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex.”
The senator said there is a need to expunge the regulations because they are not “justifiable in a democratic state like Nigeria which has domesticated the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights”.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is while contributing to the debate noted that it is very strange to find such provisions in the police act.
“We should amend this law so that we can give dignity to our female folks. It is very strange to find such provisions in the Police Act which is discriminatory to male counterparts who are not bound by this law. I fully support this Bill so that we can bring everyone to an equal range,” he said.
On her part, Stella Oduoah noted that the discrimination os not peculiar to the police as other law enforcement agencies are guilty of discriminating against female officers.
“This issue is not peculiar to police, but all law enforcement agencies. I strongly support this particular bill that all these horrible clauses should be expunged from the bill and urge all of us to give accelerated second reading to this Bill,” she said.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan referred the bill to the Committee on Police Affairs to report in four (4) weeks.

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