2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
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International Women’s Day: Labour and others discourages Gender Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH), leads campaign
The Nigeria Labour congress (NLC) has raised alarm that the Nigerian government has not ratified or domesticated the Convention 190 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which discourages Gender Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) in the world of work.
The NLC Head of the Women and Youth Department, Comrade Rita Goyit said this during a virtual workshop with journalists, to commemorate the 2021 international women’s day celebration.
She said despite making commitment to ratify the convention, the federal government is yet to keep its promise. The workshop was supported by the Solidarity Centre AFL-CIO.
Comrade Goyit said adopting the convention 190 will make work places free from violence and harassment and will also boost productivity. She said it will put Nigeria on the list of countries that promote human rights.
“In 2019, when the ILO Convention 190 was adopted in Geneva, the Nigerian government made a commitment that it will be among the first countries to ratify and also domesticate the Convention, but that is yet to be done,” she said.
She went on to lament that by not ratifying it, most workers both in formal and informal economy who suffer gender based violence and harassment (GBVH) find it difficult to express themselves hence suffer in silence while the perpetrators walk free.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Chairperson, National Women Commission, NLC , Hajia Salamatu Aliu sais NLC has been leading various campaigns to encourage women to speak up against GBVH and break the culture of silence society condones around GBVH.
She shared that the campaign will be sustained until government and employers do the needful to protect women in Nigeria
In his speech, the Country Program Director for Solidarity Centre AFL-CIO, Mr Sonny Ogbuehi, commended the media for their partnership and asked that they join their voices in the campaign against GBVH. According to him, the media has a critical role to play in ensuring that issues of Gender Based Violence and Harassment at work places are brought to the front burner.
The Senior Program Officer, Solidarity Center AFL-CIO, Nkechi Odinukwe also shared how gender based violence and harassment is affected and often worsened by cultural, economic, ideological, political, social, environmental and health factors like displacement, armed conflict, terrorism, migration and increased globalization of economic activities. She particularly mentioned that COVID 19 pandemic is another factor that has worsened GBVH in the world of work since it broke.
“Within the COVID-19 pandemic period, gender based violence especially rape and domestic violence against women workers have risen to exponential levels as women who could get away from abusive partners before the pandemic now find they have to forcefully stay in same spaces with their abuser due to social distancing restrictions. We have seen a lot of women workers abused at home this period than ever before. These women workers come to work dealing with a lot of issues linked to abuse they face at home,” she said.
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