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Bill to permit wearing of hijab in military passes second reading

The House of Representatives is considering a bill seeking to compel the Arm forces and para-military organizations to permit female officers to wear hijab.

The bill is titled Religious Discrimination (Prohibition,  Prevention) Bill, 2020.

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

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

Article 13(2) 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 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 head cover or hijab.”

However, the bill does not propose any fine or jail time for persons who discriminate against persons wearing hijab, but it states that anyone who contravenes the section would have committed an offence.