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Women Day: ILO, NLC seek action to improve gender equality



Women Day: ILO, NLC seek action to improve gender equality


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have called for accelerated action to improve progress on gender equality at workplace.

The ILO and the NLC made the call in separate statements made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja to mark the 2019 International Women Day.

The theme of the 2019, Women Day Celebration is, ”Balance for Better.”

Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director General said that there was need to accelerate action to improve progress on gender equality at work place.

According to him, we need to implement a transformative agenda that includes enforcement of laws and regulations.

”Perhaps, we may even need to revisit those laws and regulations that are backed by investment in services that level the playing field for women.

”This include: care and social protection, and a more flexible approach to both working hours and working careers. And there is the persistent attitudinal challenge of attitudes to women joining the workforce and their place in it.

”We know much more now about gender gaps and what drives them, and what needs to be done to make meaningful progress on gender equality in the world of work,” he said.

Also, Mrs Mercy Okezie, NLC Chairperson National Women Commission, said that 818 million women globally have experienced gender inequality at workplace.

She said that the theme was apt and aimd at addressing the widening gap of inequalities in the world of work.

According to her, globally, 818 million women have experienced violence and harrassment, marginalisation, discrimination against race, class caste disability, gender identity, migrant status, indigenous status or age.

She said that gender based violence alone costs businesses billions in terms of lost productivity, reputation and litigation.

”In Nigeria, at the just concluded NLC National Delegate Conference in line with the International Labour Convention we adopted a sexual harassment in the workplace policy. We hope to seize this opportunity to sensitive the Nigerian women and popularise this policy.

”Also, in spite of the earlier struggle, education and sensitisation and similar movements put across to firmly bring gender issues to public eye and on the political agenda, we notice determined backlash with discriminatory movements challenging democratic societies.

”We also notice discrimination and inequality continue to characterise and share our unions and work, relegating women to lower pay, low quality jobs and precarious working conditions,” she said.

The NLC Chairperson added that this year’s theme provides a unified guide to sensitise and spur to action plans and activities reinforcing the theme all and certainly not a one off celebration that ends today.

Okezie said that everyone has a part to play at times, while urging all to do anything humanly possible to enthrone a gender balance world.

She called for zero tolerance to sexual harassment, domestic violence, trafficking in persons, all forms of discrimination, harmful traditional practices, child marriage, slavery and servitude.

”Fellow sisters, it is time to unsettle, shakeup, and uproot the settled bias against women, join the international law to call on gender based violence and harassment. The time to act is now,” she said.