A bill pending before the House of Representatives is seeking to compel the Armed Forces and para-military organisations to permit female officers to wear Islamic veil, commonly known as hijab.
The bill, known as the Religious Discrimination (Prohibition, Prevention) Bill, 2020, which has passed second reading at the House, 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.
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.”
Although the bill does not propose any fine or jail time for persons who discriminate against persons wearing hijab, it states that anyone who contravenes the section would have committed an offence.
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