Nigerian women protest parliament rejection of pro-equality bills | Muhammadu Buhari News


Nigerian girls have converged on the nation’s parliament in Abuja to protest its resolution to vote in opposition to the adoption of 5 gender payments.

As early as 8am on Wednesday, a whole lot of ladies confirmed up on the Nationwide Meeting Complicated within the Nigerian capital to show in opposition to the Senate’s selections at yesterday’s structure modification session.

‘’I’m right here [at the protest] as a result of I’m indignant,” Nimisire Emitomo, a 25-year-old author, who joined others to sing and chant about Nigerian legislators neglecting their issues on the parliament gates. “After I noticed the vote yesterday, the very first thing that got here to my thoughts is why do they hate us a lot? They’re actually saying we’re second-class residents,’’

After two years of deliberations, the legislature had voted on a collection of payments to amend the controversial 1999 structure, adopted in the course of the transition from navy rule to democracy that yr.

One of many amendments, if handed, would have granted citizenship to foreign-born husbands of Nigerian girls; the Nigerian structure already confers computerized citizenship on foreign-born wives of Nigerian males. One other would have given a lady the precise to turn into indigenes of their husband’s state after 5 years of marriage.

There have been additionally provisions to assign 35 % of legislative seats to girls, in addition to reserve 35 % of political get together management, for ladies.

Protesters stated the rejections have pushed again years of efforts by feminine lawmakers, lobbyists and activists.

For months, Chioma Agwuegbo, government director of TechHerNG and different activists had held consultations on the payments with legislators, civil society teams and varied different stakeholders. All of their efforts ended up being futile.

’They shut the payments down with a vehemence that really scares us,’’ stated Agwuegbo, one of many organisers of the protest. ‘’The rationale why girls are out in the present day and tomorrow and maintain having this dialog is as a result of girls will not be simply good just for votes. You can not lead us with out us.’’

Ladies and women make up practically half all the nation’s inhabitants in Nigeria however are grossly underrepresented in Nigeria’s political area. Solely 19 of the 469 legislators presently serving in Nigeria’s bicameral legislature – a meagre 4 % – are feminine.

No girl has ever been elected governor or president and solely a handful of cupboard appointments are handed to girls. Consequently, the West African state is ranked 180 out of 190 based on the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

A Nigerian women uses her shirt to outline demands of her and fellow female protestors at the gates of the Nigerian parliament after a constitutional amendment session.A Nigerian girl protests outdoors the Nigerian parliament [File: Chioma Agwuegbo, TechHerNG]

Tuesday’s vote was the fifth try and overview the 1999 structure since its adoption. The most recent overview started in 2020 and the committee overseeing the amendments was led by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege. It submitted a complete of 68 payments final week.

Of the 68 payments voted on, 49 have been handed, together with a invoice on monetary autonomy for native governments, Nigeria’s third tier of governance. A invoice to cap the timeline in prosecuting felony and civil circumstances was additionally rejected.

Activists have stated the vote in opposition to payments granting girls extra autonomy was symptomatic of what’s nonetheless a deeply conservative society.

‘’It’s clear that [the rejection of the bills] is a continuation of patriarchal construction within the society,” Ayisha Osori, director of Open Society Foundations, informed Al Jazeera. “As various as Nigeria is, by way of how divided we appear to be on the subject of ethnic, non secular and sophistication divides, one factor that unites Nigerians greater than something is the frequent hatred for ladies.”

Sponsors and lobbyists of gender-related payments often face an uphill battle within the legislature on account of non secular sentiments. Final yr, an analogous invoice looking for to advertise gender equality in employment and property inheritance was discarded for the third time after male senators from the northern area complained that such payments have been ‘’anti-Islam”.

To enact constitutional modifications, the vote outcomes should be permitted by a two-thirds majority of the 36 state parliaments after which despatched to the president for assent. The protesting girls are asking that Tuesday’s selections be reviewed earlier than that step is taken.

US Fencers Wore Pinks Masks In Protest Of Teammate


“We’re gravely involved concerning the affect Mr. Hadzic’s potential presence may have on different Workforce USA athletes,” the ladies wrote on Might 20.

Whereas the US Middle for SafeSport, the nonprofit company chargeable for defending athletes from abuse, suspended Hadzic from the Olympics final month as a result of investigation, he fought to get his prohibition lifted by way of an arbitration course of.

USA Fencing created a “security plan” to maintain Hadzic away from ladies and out of the Olympic Village, which included him touring and staying individually from his teammates.

He was additionally forbidden from practising with ladies teammates.

Hadzic has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct, telling USA At present that “they’re untruths.” His legal professional, Michael Palma, informed the New York Occasions that his shopper had by no means dedicated any acts of sexual assault.

USA Fencing didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark concerning the pink masks.

However the stunt earned reward from US fencer and 2016 Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

“Kudos to the crew for taking a stand,” she tweeted on Friday.

Hundreds protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during rally at the Utah State Capitol


Members of the Ukrainian group are hoping for extra assist from nations throughout the globe.

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attendees march up the Capitol steps with Ukrainian flags and indicators throughout a rally in assist of Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

The Utah State Capitol steps have been a sea of blue and yellow on Saturday afternoon as a whole bunch of Utahns, Ukrainians, Russians and others protested Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Whereas cries of “Слава Україні! Героям слава!” rang out from the gang — which interprets to “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!” — one man stepped in entrance of the rally’s audio system. Wearing a blue-and-yellow striped button down, full with a yellow tie and sun shades, Jan Kubanek crouched down with the miniature tank he’d been carrying and pulled a bottle of lighter fluid from his pocket.

He sprayed the accelerant on the tank and had a small boy within the crowd “do the honors” — by lighting the tank on hearth.

“I possibly acquired into hassle but it surely’s value it,” stated Kubanek, who’s from the Czech Republic. “If I can get into hassle this manner and lift consciousness, that’s the least I can do, a minimum of right here.”

Supporters held Ukrainian flags, wore sunflower flower crowns and even waved bathroom paper printed with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s face whereas they listened to audio system from the Ukrainian group.

“We can not enable what occurred Nineteen Forties to occur once more immediately,” stated Yulia Holko, a board member of the Utah Ukrainian Affiliation. “Our brothers and sisters on the bottom in Ukraine are combating for his or her land. They’re very sturdy on the bottom, they’re pushing the Russian military again on the bottom. … We’re asking the worldwide group to proceed offering assist.”

(Ed Kosmicki | Particular to The Tribune) Justin Godto, whose girlfriend is Ukrainian, waves a Ukrainian flag and holds a poster throughout a rally on the Capitol Feb. 26, 2022.

Holko urged the worldwide group to ban Russia from SWIFT — which in response to CNN, is a safe community connecting monetary establishments across the globe — in an effort to strangle the nation’s financial system.

She additionally known as upon European nations to offer Ukraine with navy sources, since though civilian militias are combating the Russian military, the nation stays susceptible from the air.

“Europe, do you need to endure some monetary penalties immediately, or do you need to have Putin at your step tomorrow?” Holko requested. “We should cease him.”

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Yulia Holko, left, and Anya Baryshok, proper, converse to the gang throughout a rally in assist of Ukraine on the Capitol on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. Holko and Baryshok are each part of the Utah Ukranian Affiliation.

Honorary Consul of Spain Baldomero Lago stated the presidency of the Utah Consular Corps, which represents 30 nations around the globe, wrote a decision in assist of Ukraine — condemning Russia’s “illegal” actions and demanding the instant withdrawal of Russian troops from the sovereign nation.

However Ukrainians are hoping for extra motion, not simply phrases, from the worldwide group.

“We’re simply actually asking the nationwide group to not hesitate and to be to be very agency of their actions and to not delay, as a result of each hour that we’re delaying, it’s inflicting Ukraine many, many lives,” Holko stated. “We’re simply asking for the world to be actually sturdy of their stand towards Putin. In the end, he ought to actually be overthrown — he’s a risk to your entire world and Ukraine is making an attempt to cease that risk.”

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attendees maintain up Ukrainian flags and indicators on the steps of the Capitol throughout a rally in assist of Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

(Ed Kosmicki | Particular to The Tribune) Members maintain flags, indicators and sunflowers, the nationwide flower of Ukraine, throughout a rally on the Capitol steps Saturday, Feb. 26 2022. An estimated 500 folks attended the rally in solidarity with Ukraine, which was invaded this week by Russia.



Nils van der Poel Gives Away His Medal to Protest Beijing’s Abuses


The Swedish skating star Nils van der Poel jumped for pleasure on the rostrum when he acquired his gold medal for the boys’s 10,000-meter speedskating race on the Beijing Winter Olympics. Years of grueling coaching had introduced him the world record-breaking victory.

Even in his second of glory, although, he had a secret plan: to make use of his victory to denounce the Chinese language authorities’s ferocious clampdown on free speech, dissent and ethnic minorities.

Mr. van der Poel has now acted on that plan. On Thursday, he gave his gold medal to the daughter of Gui Minhai, a Chinese language-born Swedish writer of books important of Beijing, who’s serving a 10-year jail sentence in China. It was the boldest protest but by an athlete who took half within the Beijing Video games.

“I understand that Gui Minhai is not going to be let loose due to this. I understand that the Chinese language folks is not going to cease affected by oppression due to this. However I actually, actually consider in free speech,” Mr. van der Poel mentioned in Cambridge, England, the place he handed the medal to Angela Gui, Mr. Gui’s daughter, in a small, improvised ceremony.

“I actually see myself because the man holding the microphone in entrance of Angela,” Mr. van der Poel mentioned in an interview earlier than the ceremony. “I simply hope that human rights get to face within the middle of this.”

From the time they had been awarded to China, the 2022 Winter Olympics ignited controversy over the Communist Get together’s suppression of dissent. Human rights teams known as for a boycott, citing China’s repression, notably of the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority, within the Xinjiang area.

Through the Video games, no athletes brazenly protested in opposition to China. Chinese language officers had warned athletes that they might be punished for making feedback deemed to be in opposition to the regulation, a menace that Mr. van der Poel mentioned satisfied him to desert an thought to refuse to seem on the medal stand in protest. “I believed that might be a really cool image,” he mentioned.

Mr. van der Poel, 25, has a status as an occasional maverick with an arduous coaching routine and blunt opinions on rivals.

Now he’s additionally one thing of a loner in utilizing his Olympics fame to brazenly chastise China’s rulers. He described how he went from realizing little about China to honoring Mr. Gui.

“It’s surrealistic gifting away what you fought on your total life,” he mentioned. “Nevertheless it additionally brings much more worth to the journey — that it’s not simply me skating round in circles.”

Mr. van der Poel mentioned he waited till after the Video games to talk out as a result of he frightened for his personal security in Beijing and didn’t wish to create a distraction for different athletes. He and Ms. Gui invited a New York Occasions reporter to their medal handover, however requested that the information be held till Friday, giving them extra time to organize for any response.

“I’m a bit intimidated,” Ms. Gui mentioned in a small convention room as Mr. van der Poel drew the medal out of its lacquered wood field. He informed her to not fear. “We don’t get any directions both,” he mentioned.

Ms. Gui, a 28-year-old graduate pupil at Cambridge College, mentioned that she knew that others would possibly regard her and Mr. van der Poel as naïve for pondering their gesture may assist change China.

“However I additionally suppose slightly little bit of naïveté is vital to attempt to impact change,” Ms. Gui mentioned. “I feel it’s essential that Nils giving me his medal to honor my father is known as honoring political prisoners like him, lots of whom are more and more Hong Kongers and Uyghurs.”

Within the years main as much as the Beijing Video games, Mr. van der Poel was zealously targeted on a coaching program that concerned seven-hour bike rides and seemingly countless circuits of a skate rink. He had little curiosity within the politics behind the Olympics.

“It was simply ‘I’m an athlete, I’m going to do what an athlete does, and that’s it,’” he mentioned.

Then, in late November, he watched a web-based presentation by Civil Rights Defenders, a Stockholm-based group that briefs Swedish athletes forward of worldwide occasions, particularly these in nations with bleak human rights information. That was the primary time that Mr. van der Poel realized about Mr. Gui.

Mr. Gui was born in China, and he made a dwelling as a writer in Hong Kong. His books included lurid, scathing and thinly sourced paperbacks about China’s leaders. Their most important readership was Chinese language vacationers who sneaked the books again to mainland China, the place there’s a huge underground urge for food for information, and rumor, concerning the Communist Get together elite.

In 2015, Mr. Gui was kidnapped by Chinese language safety operatives from a trip dwelling in Thailand. He was later proven on Chinese language state tv repeating Beijing’s official line that he had willingly returned to China to reply for a deadly automotive crash that befell over a decade earlier. However even after he had served out a sentence for that cost, Mr. Gui was held in China and never allowed to return to Sweden, the place he had gained citizenship in 1992.

In 2018, two Swedish diplomats accompanied Mr. Gui on a prepare to Beijing, the place he was scheduled to endure a medical examination, however Chinese language safety officers boarded the prepare and snatched Mr. Gui away. In 2020, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for “illegally offering intelligence” to a international recipient. Ms. Gui and others have mentioned that cost was absurd, as Mr. Gui was below fixed surveillance and couldn’t have acquired any actual secrets and techniques.

Within the months earlier than the Olympics, Mr. van der Poel mentioned, he researched Mr. Gui’s case. He was troubled, he mentioned, by the concept that Mr. Gui, who like him is a Swedish citizen, might be kidnapped whereas overseas after which sentenced to jail.

“I felt I used to be obligated to do one thing since I had the chance that only a few folks have,” Mr. van der Poel mentioned.

In Beijing, he broke his personal world report within the 10,000-meter race, beating the runner-up by nearly 14 seconds. He additionally received a gold within the 5,000-meter race, an occasion through which he broke the world report final yr.

Quickly after the Video games ended, he informed a Swedish information outlet that it was “extraordinarily irresponsible” to permit the Olympics to be held there, given China’s oppressive politics.

Mr. van der Poel’s medal gesture could anger China’s authorities. They’ve introduced the Winter Olympics as a vindication of China’s political system of centralized management — environment friendly, disciplined, assured — earlier than a worldwide viewers.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee, below stress from athlete teams and human rights organizations, final yr relaxed a decades-old regulation on protest. However the committee nonetheless maintained robust restrictions on Olympic individuals, denying them the appropriate to make their statements on the Video games’ highest-profile platforms, like medal podiums or the fields of play.

Peter Reinebo, who was chargeable for Sweden’s Olympic staff in Beijing, gave his backing to Mr. van der Poel, who informed Mr. Reinebo of his plan in the course of the Video games.

“I mentioned to him, I’ll help you all the best way as a result of I feel it’s an excellent gesture from a giant sportsman to additionally present his true values and values of human rights,” Mr. Reinebo mentioned.

At their impromptu ceremony in Cambridge, Mr. van der Poel joked that it was slightly simpler to present away a gold medal as a result of he had two. “Not less than I can present one thing to my grandmother,” he mentioned.

Ms. Gui mentioned she hoped that Mr. van der Poel would possibly sooner or later get his medal again.

“Maybe when the final political prisoner is launched, then you’ll be able to have it again,” she mentioned, “and you may present your grandma.”

Russians Protest Invasion Of Ukraine Despite Crackdowns On Dissent


Russian celebrities — together with athletes, actors, and Eurovision stars — have additionally publicly denounced the invasion, placing their careers at nice danger as a result of authorities’s heavy affect within the leisure trade. In an Instagram video, fashionable singer Valery Meladze pleaded for an finish to the invasion.

“Historical past would be the decide of those occasions,” Meladze mentioned. “However at this time, I encourage you, please cease the warfare.”

On Wednesday, simply earlier than the invasion started, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a televised speech calling for peace and highlighting the shut ties between Russia and Ukraine.

“That is our land. That is our historical past. What are you preventing for and with whom?” Zelensky mentioned. “Lots of you may have been to Ukraine. Lots of you may have kin in Ukraine. Some have studied in Ukrainian universities. Some have made associates with Ukrainians. our character. our individuals. our ideas.”

Zelensky additionally immediately addressed the individuals of Russia, urging them to face with Ukraine and let their very own authorities know they do not need warfare.

“I do know that my tackle to you gained’t be proven on Russian tv, however the residents of Russia ought to see it. They need to know the reality, and the reality is that this must cease earlier than it’s too late,” he mentioned. “And if the management of Russia doesn’t need to sit down on the desk with us for the sake of peace, possibly they may sit down on the desk with you. Do Russians need warfare? I wish to reply that query, however the reply relies upon solely on you.”