Reps to deliberate on Bill permitting hijab among military personnel


The House of Representatives will deliberate on a bill seeking to enforce the Armed Forces and para-military organisations to allow female officers to wear the Islamic veil, commonly known as hijab.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the bill is known as the Religious Discrimination (Prohibition, Prevention) Bill, 2020.

It had passed second reading at the House and was sponsored by the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Finance and Member representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency, Saidu Abdullahi.

Article 13 of the bill titled, ‘Discrimination in employment in security and other sectors,’ prohibits the military from discriminating against anyone wearing a hijab.

It reads, “Any person employed in the security sector, whether within the military or paramilitary or otherwise, shall not be discriminated against on the ground of the exercise of his right to the manifestation of his religion in worship, teaching, practice and observance such as wearing religious emblem, head cover, or hijab in concomitant with the common uniform code or code of conduct in relation to the choice of colour, type, or design of such religious emblem, religious headcover or hijab.”

Furthermore, the bill states that anyone who contravenes the section would have committed an offence.

Also, the High Court will have original jurisdiction on such matters while the National Human Rights Commission shall have the power either on its own motion or upon a petition presented by an aggrieved person to investigate allegations of any violation of the provisions of the Bill within a reasonable time or not more than 30 days.

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