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 on Friday.
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 exist 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 society.
Commenting on the 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 a reduced number of women wielding political power needed to participate in the decision-making process affecting the livelihood of women,’’ she added
Wilkie noted that the factors had also affected the labor force participation in some professional work in the country.
She put woman’s participation in the media at 18.3 percent, Architects 2.4 percent, Law 25.4 percent, Lecturing 11.8 percent Engineering 10 percent, and Project Management 40 percent among others.
According to the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) states that 65.3 percent of senior positions are occupied by men, compared to 34.7 percent by women between 2010 and 2015.
On education participation rate, she noted that 20 percent of girls put off science because they believed that it was for boys while 90 percent 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 the implementation of better policies that will impact women positively.
“We need to be heard not through the stretching of our vocal cavity but in acknowledgment of who we truly are, through the expression of our sincerely rated content,’’ she said.