Mrs Roselyn Wilkie, Acting Head Corporate Services, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says that Nigerian laws and policies have not given proper recognition to woman’s rights in the workplace.
Wilkie made this known at the “Fourth Women in Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN)” conference in Abuja
She spoke on the topic: “Gender Inequality: Need for Women Empowerment for Sustainable Balance’’.
“The prevailing laws and policies of Nigerian government, local and municipal laws do not give a wide coverage and recognition to the rights of women in the workplace,’’ she said.
She said that in reality, women still have a long way to go before attaining economic parity, social equality and political power sharing.
According to her, stereotypes still exists as women are perceived as passive, emotional, soft, and obsessed with appearances.
This, she said was opposite compared to how men are being perceived in the society.
Commenting on gender gap in the country, she noted that socio-cultural factors such as patriarchy, unequal power relations, harmful traditional practices against women and religious factors remained the cause of the gap.
Wilkie listed other factors to include “economic factors like lack of access to critical resources and low educational attainment among women.
“And political factor like reduced number of women wielding political power needed to participate in decision-making process affecting the livelihood of women,’’ she added
Wilkie noted that the factors had also affected the labour force participation in some professional work in the country.
She put woman’s participation in the media at 18.3 per cent, Architects 2.4 per cent, Law 25.4 per cent, Lecturing 11.8 per cent Engineering 10 per cent, and Project Management 40 per cent among others .
According to the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) states that 65.3 per cent of senior positions are occupied by men, compared to 34.7 per cent by women between 2010 and 2015.
On education participation rate, she noted that 20 per cent of girls put off science because they believed that it was for boys while 90 per cent of nurses were females.
Wilkie said that women must speak out on education of girls and support each other, adding that this would go a long way in addressing gender equality.
She listed other ways of addressing gender inequality to include boys and men speaking up on behalf of girls and women.
According to her, girls should not fight for gender equality alone and implementation of better policies that will impact women positively.
“We need to be heard not through the stretching of our vocal cavity but in acknowledgement of who we truly are, through the expression of our sincerely rated content,’’ she said.