Muslim clerics in Nigeria have called on Parliament not to pass a proposed gender and equal opportunity bill. The draft law aims to tackle discrimination against women in all sectors of society.

The clerics, however, claimed a clause that guarantees equal inheritance rights for men and women is not compatible with their religion, the BBC reported. In Islam, women are entitled to half of men's share of inheritance because Muslim men are expected to take care of women and children.

Among other things, the bill aims to guarantee girls' access to education, enhance a more active role of women and girls in societies and protect them against domestic violence and sexual abuses.

The bill was already rejected in March, with the senate arguing it was not compatible with the country's constitution and religious beliefs.

Some Nigerian senators said the draft law, presented by Senator Abiodun Olujimi, was against some principles of Sharia law − implemented in 12 Nigeria's states − and the Bible.

The rejection prompted several Nigerians, including senators, to take to social media to vent their outrage or show their support for the bill. Some activists also launched a petition to urge senators to sign the bill into law.

Earlier in September, the bill passed the second reading in the Senate, with Olujimi claiming the piece of legislation had been modified "to suit everyone". The draft law was then referred to the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters committee.

The rediscussion of the bill came as right groups warned thousands of girls still undergo female genital mutilation (FGM)in Nigeria. In 2013, the federal government outlawed the practice, mostly widespread in the Christian-majority south. However, 23 out of the country's 36 states have not implemented the anti-FGM law yet.


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