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NLC lauds SSANU for promoting women issues in labour movement

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
26 October 2021   |   2:10 am
It is important for the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) to keep increasing the tempo of women visibility in the labour movement as a practical strategy for gender mainstreaming....

SSANU

It is important for the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) to keep increasing the tempo of women visibility in the labour movement as a practical strategy for gender mainstreaming, Head of Department, Women and Youth, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Rita Goyit has said.
   
Goyit, who stated this while speaking on, ‘gender mainstreaming for enhanced women participation in trade union’ at the 2021 national women conference of SSANU in Abuja, commended the leadership of the union for the consistent interest and building upon a good foundation through the struggles of the women in the union. 
   
He added that enhancing the participation of women in all aspects and levels of the trade unions will make the union stronger, more inclusive, relevant and responsive to the needs of all members.

   
She stressed that trade unions are democratic organisations made of women and men membership founded on justice, equity and fairness and must always defend as well as promote and protect the rights of all members/categories of workers, uphold ethical values, principles of freedom, equality, gender mainstreaming, decent work, non-discrimination, better and gender sensitive working environment and a world of work free from sexual harassment and any form of gender-based violence and harassment. 
   
“It is very necessary to emphasise that trade unions are built on principles of equality based on equal payment of membership dues which is non-discriminatory, as such women and men have an equal stake in the union and are therefore partners in progress. This goes to buttress the point that women must be given equal opportunity and be treated with respect and dignity,” she stated.

According to her, lack of adequate budgetary allocation for women and gender structure; stereotypes, undermine the ability and the position of women to lead. Antagonism, misunderstanding and lack of cooperation/support from male counterparts; male domination of top leadership positions/claim of leadership as belonging to men; the inadequate number of fulltime women trade unionists; victimisation and sexual harassment/treating women as sex objects or pleasure givers; paying lip service to women issues; absence of gender perspectives in unions constitutions and non-inclusion or low representation of women in negotiating teams/process are some of the challenges that confront women as they struggle to express themselves in labour unionism arena.
   
Goyit explained that gender equality is not about sameness and therefore does not mean that men and women become the same, but that their opportunities and life chances are equal and that the differences that do exist in their talents, skills, interests, ideas are equally valued.
   
She added that gender also reflects that concern that men and women have equal opportunities to make choices and work in partnership to achieve goals.

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