The Nigerian Senate is reviewing the law forbidding policewomen from marrying without first seeking permission from the force.

The amendment to the Police Act 2004 to expunge the gender-discriminatory provisions passed the second reading on Thursday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

This followed the presentation of the bill by the sponsor, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP-Imo East), during plenary.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Onyewuchi said that the bill was read for the first time on October 10.

He explained that there was need to expunge the regulations as it was not reasonably justifiable in a democratic state like Nigeria. 

The lawmaker enumerated the duties of the police to include prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order among others.

He said that that the bill sought to expunge the provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 from the principal act.

Onyewuchi noted that Regulation 122 restricts policewomen assigned to the General Duties Branch of the Nigeria Police Force to telephone, clerical and office orderly duties.

He said, “Regulation 123 prohibits women police from drilling under arms; Regulation 124 mandates female police officers to apply for permission to marry while the intending fiancé is also investigated for criminal records.

“It also stipulates that a policewoman who is single at the time of enlistment must spend three years in service before applying for permission to marry.

“Analysis of the Police Act and other regulatory/policy documents governing the internal and external workings of the Nigeria Police Force reveals a preponderance of discriminatory regulations and workplace practices that reinforce gender discrimination."

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