Married women in Nigeria will soon have the right to become indigenes of their husband’s community guaranteed by an Act.

Women in civil service that have reached directorate cadre will also not have issues when the time of their promotions come.

This is because a bill for an Act to amend Federal Character Commission (FCC) Act to give married women the option to choose indigeneship and other related matters passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Edward Pwajok from Plateau State seeks to address the issue of indigeneship of married women in the country.

Leading the debate, Pwajok said the extant law was discriminatory against women as a man’s indegenship was never questioned even when he married many wives.


The lawmaker said married women had been subjected to psychological trauma on the legal uncertainty of their indigenous identity in the country.

He added that upon marriage, women’s status remained unclear as to whether they were indigenes of their father’s or husband’s homeland.

According to him, women in public service are usually confronted with the dilemma during promotion into directorate cadre.

“We are witnesses to how the promotion of a female justice was delayed on account of indigenship,” he said.

However, Sylvester Ogbaga from Ebonyi State said the bill was misguided, adding that there was no need to allow women to make the choice of indigeneship.

He argued that once a woman got married to a man, the two had become one and should share in the origin of the man as presently constituted.

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But not every Nigerian will look at it like him especially when it involves something that will bring monetary reward.

This is why the lawmaker wants it to be enshrined in the law.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other legislators contributed against and in favour of the bill and that gave the bill the momentum it needed to cross the second reading.

It however referred the bill to the Committee on Federal Character for further legislative actions by the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara.

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