The gender equality discourse assumed a global dimension since the fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995. The hallmark of the Conference was the Beijing Platform for Action which was agreed upon by all 189 countries in attendance. Furthermore, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) subscribed to by United Nations member states in the year 2000, ascribed a worthy place to gender equality, highlighting its measurable targets. The inability of most states to meet the MDGs as at the end of 2015 necessitated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with new targets and timelines. Though Nigeria is a signatory to many international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the country has repeatedly failed to effectively set a legal framework for gender equality. This is made obvious by the outright rejection of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill by Nigeria’s upper chamber since 2010. Relying on secondary sources of data, this study interrogates the critical factors that have inhibited the bill from being passed into law. The study highlights three factors namely: the patriarchal nature of the Nigerian society and the Senate in particular, the cultural and religious dimensions and the content of the bill.
Key words: Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing platform for action, women’s right, the millennium development goals (MDGs) and sustainable development goals (SDGs).
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