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Stakeholders seek end to inequality in oil, gas sector

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Oil and Gas plant

Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria have called for gender equality in the sector as a means to enhance sustainable development in the industry.

The stakeholders, at the 4th Women-in-PENGASSAN (WIP) National Conference in Abuja, noted that the development of the oil and gas sector in the country would be maximized if women are given more roles across different levels of the sector.

Referring to energy and other sectors of the nation’s economy, the industry players, who admitted that women still have a long way to go before attaining economic parity, social equality, and political power-sharing, stressed that women are perceived as passive, emotionally soft, and obsessed with appearances whereas men are perceived as assertive, ambitious, competitive and goal-oriented.

To address peculiar issues affecting women globally and within the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Michael Ndukaku Ohaeri noted that women must rise to the occasion.

He said while a world where opportunities are not denied by gender is yet to be achieved, there have been remarkable efforts to bridge gender inequality.

Ohaeri said exercising or even seeking the basic rights of women have been repeatedly interpreted as a challenge to power structures, adding that women are under-represented at high-level meetings.

According to him, the private sector and civil society must invest in policies as well as social frameworks that would achieve worldwide gender equality and inclusion.

Also speaking at the event, titled “Gender Inequality: Need for Women Empowerment for Sustainable Balance”, National Chairperson Women -In PENGASSAN, Evelyn Amaka Ijeoma said the theme of the conference was predicated on the spate at which the society, economy, culture, and technology were evolving.

Assistant Director, Service, Department of Petroleum Resources, Roselyn Wilkie, who charged women to rise up to the challenge of the sector, noted the case of prominent women in the sector must remain an elixir.

“We need to speak up and advocate for ourselves and the education of our girls. We need to learn to support each other together women can make a change. Boys and men should speak up on behalf of girls and women — because girls shouldn’t have to fight for gender equality alone,” Wilkie said.

She urged males and females in public offices and key decision-makers to help level the law and eliminate gender discrimination in the sector and the entire system.


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