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GBVH: Centre trains workers’ unions, seeks protection for women, interns

GBVH: Centre trains workers’ unions, seeks protection for women, interns

GBVH: Centre trains workers’ unions, seeks protection for women, interns

 

The Solidarity Centre in Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to domesticate the ILO Convention 190 (ILO C190) for the protection of women, interns including corps members against Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) at workplaces.

 

The international civil society organisation made the call at the opening of a two-day training for women workers and union leadership on Tuesday in Lagos, tagged “Capacity Building and Training on GBVH in the World of Work”.

 

The project titled: “Elevating Women’s Participation in the Workplace in West Africa”, had union leaders and women from the oil and gas sector in attendance.

 

Speaking, Country Programme Director for West Africa, Solidarity Centre, Mr Sonny Ogbuehi, affirmed that most of the discriminations and gender-based violence and harassment were against women population, especially at work.

 

Ogbuehi, who was represented by Country Project Coordinator, Solidarity Centre, Mr Chris Adebayo, said that the society must strategise to address the root causes of violence and harassment at work, especially against women.

 

He said that the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of the participants to understand, prevent and respond to GBVH at workplaces.

 

“We are trying to train not only the women workers but also union leaders (male and female) so that all of us can understand how discriminations and gender-based violence and harassment happen in workplaces.

 

“A lot of people do not even know what discrimination is. We believe that by the time we train people in each of the locations, they will pass the message to other persons and the knowledge will spread,” he said

 

According to him, the workshop is to build understanding and capacity of participants in GBVH, increase their knowledge to prevent and address GBVH in workplaces as well as to provide information on the prevalence in workplaces.

 

Ogbuehi urged the participants to be free to air their views and opinions as experts so as to eliminate all forms of GBVH at workplaces.

 

“Be rest assured that your opinion will count. Please say it as it is to help victims. This discrimination and gender-based violence and harassment must be stopped.” he said.

 

According to him, the capacity building and training is taking place in four different locations in the country: Lagos, Rivers, Kaduna and Abuja.

 

Delivering a keynote address, Mrs Vanessa Edhebru, Gender Specialist, Solidarity Centre, said that ILO C19O would remove GBVH and eliminate of all forms of discriminations against women at workplaces.

Edhebru said: “The issue about our dynamics and influence, and of course our social constructs as a people makes it obvious that women usually suffer the brunt of whatever issues that is going on at work.

 

“The union leaders must understand what GBVH and discrimination at work is all about and they must organise, reorganise and put themselves together to stop this menace.”

 

According to her, the workshop is also to ensure that women begin to aspire and rise into leadership positions and make means as workers in Nigeria.

 

Edhebru, who revealed that the project was also being implemented in Liberia but focusing on agricultural and mining sectors, called for commitment of employers to ending GBVH and creating safe place for women to work.

 

On the domestication of ILO C190, Edhebru, who expressed excitement about ratification of the convention in the country, said that the process of domestication and implementation must commence.

 

According to her, the ILO C190 caters for men and women in the workplaces and talks about safety and occupation, gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination.

 

“It makes every workplace socially inclusive and a good place for people to work and earn their living,” she added.

 

One of the participants, Mrs Olivet Aberare, Senior Organising Secretary Legal/Gender Desk Officer, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), described the ILO C190 as far-reaching in protecting Nigerian women including corps members and job seekers.

 

“We are advising this new administration to domesticate it in order to protect women not only at work but also on their way to workplaces,” she said.

 

Another participant, Mrs Joy Eke, Administrative Officer, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), identified negotiations, awareness, strong policies as panacea to curbing GBVH in the society.

 

According to her, the menace of GBVH are prevalent because perpetrators feel there are no consequences for their actions, hence the need for prosecution.

 

Also, Mr Oluwafisayo Odeyemi, Senior Assistant General Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), urged the government to make perpetrators of GBVH accountable for their actions.

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