Two lawmakers in the House of Representatives have told Nigerian women rape incidents could reduce if they dress more decently.
During plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly on Thursday, June 4, Rotimi Agunsoye, representative of Kosofe Federal Constituency in Lagos, raised a motion of urgent public importance on the need to condemn the rising cases of sexual violence and other social vices against women in Nigeria.
While making his contribution, Henry Okon Archibong, representative of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom, said he supports calls for punitive measures for rapists, but that the law alone is not enough to solve the problem.
The 53-year-old said the fundamental issue leading to rape can be traced to the moral decadence in the Nigerian society.
Archibong then submitted that women could be making rape incidents easier because they dress indecently.
He said, “I totally support any punitive measures for people that actually go around raping people; but there’s a saying in my place that says when you’re addressing the hawk, you also have to address the chicken.
“Mr Speaker, the way our girls and women dress these days is so terrible.”
When Gbajabiamila later threw the floor open for amendments, Ahmed Jaha Babawo, representative of Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok Federal Constituency, Borno, proposed two for his fellow lawmakers to vote on.
In his first amendment, Babawo, a former Borno Commissioner for Higher Education and Youth/Sports, proposed that all state governments should domesticate the Child Rights Act, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, and Anti-Rape Law.
Proposing his second amendment, the 46-year-old said Nigerian women need to dress more decently to avoid abuse from men.
“Women should cultivate the habit of dressing properly and decently to avoid unnecessary harassment and abuse by men because men are not wood,” he said.
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