The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) calls on the Federal Government to enforce the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Convention 190 in celebration of the 2023 International Women’s Day. The Convention aims to promote and protect women’s rights while increasing productivity and dignity in the workplace. The NLC, through a statement issued by its general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, also reaffirmed its support for promoting policies and strategies that foster gender equality in workplaces, unions, and governance.
The theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day, “innovation and technological change; education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,” highlights the need for innovative strategies that bridge the gender gap in education and technology. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it is crucial that women and girls are not left behind in the technological revolution.
The NLC’s call for the implementation of the ratified ILO Convention 190 is particularly timely, given the ongoing global efforts to address gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace. The Convention, which was adopted in 2019, recognizes the right of all workers to be free from violence and harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment. The Convention also emphasizes the need to protect the rights of women, particularly those in vulnerable situations, such as domestic workers.
The NLC’s call for gender-responsive governance, service delivery, education, development, and civic engagement is critical in promoting gender equality in Nigeria. Gender-responsive governance recognizes the different needs and realities of women and men and aims to ensure that policies and programs take these differences into account. Gender-responsive service delivery ensures that public services, such as health care, education, and social protection, are designed to meet the needs of both women and men. Gender-responsive education promotes equal access to education and ensures that curricula and teaching materials are free from gender stereotypes.
The NLC’s call for the proper implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 is also critical in promoting women’s rights and protecting them from violence and abuse. The Act criminalizes all forms of violence against individuals in both public and private life and provides support and remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.
In conclusion, the NLC’s call for the implementation of the ratified ILO Convention 190 and the promotion of gender equality in workplaces, unions, and governance is critical in advancing women’s rights in Nigeria. The theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day highlights the need for innovative strategies that promote gender equality in education and technology. The Nigerian government, employers, and trade unions must adopt strategies that promote the protection and realization of women’s rights, increased productivity, and dignity in the workplace, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.