Experts decry gender discrimination in rental market
Experts have called for implementation of policy to halt gender discrimination against women in the rental market, especially during search for accommodation and property ownership in cities.
The rental housing in Nigeria is mired in myriads of problems, ranging from sporadic rent increase, violation of tenancy agreement, and discrimination, which is largely perpetrated against adults, especially ladies.
A major limitation against women in locations like Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria such as Kano, Enugu, Ondo, Ogun, Niger and Ebonyi is hinged on their financial independence, that most women cannot afford to rent a property on their own.
Most independent women in Lagos State, for instance, struggle to rent an apartment as they are subjected to various criticisms by homeowners, who believe that a woman without a man can’t pay rent when payment expires, or that they bring men to the apartment.
Speaking at a forum titled, “Gender discrimination in Nigeria Housing Market, Conceptual Ideas and Empirical Evidence from Nigeria,” organised by Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos, a land management and administration specialist, Dr. Esther Thonteh, said: “In Nigeria, the discrimination issue is found to be inconsistent with the section 43 of 1993 constitution (as amended) and Article 2 of the African Charter on human and people’s right based on gender. The discrimination has become a real struggle for the female gender as they employ different strategies like convincing the house owner on moral obligation, paying their rent ahead, manipulating a man to act as a guarantor, which can make them vulnerable to the man.”
On her part, a lecturer in Housing, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology at the University of Stirling, United Kingdom, Dr. Regina Serpa, said: “The issue of female discrimination is not peculiar to Lagos alone, it happens here in the United Kingdom. Female rental discrimination is a global issue that needs urgent attention, to give independent women the freedom to rent an apartment without discrimination.”