INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: IndustriALL Nigeria Council Harps On Gender Parity

By Emmanuel Ajibulu

IndustriALL Nigeria Council (Women Committee) has on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 tasked women both in formal and informal sectors to actively embrace this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, tagged, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” so as to accelerate gender parity and say no to discrimination in all forms.

Women’s rights and gender equality are taking centre stage globally and these women in Union are leaving no stones unturned to accentuate the generation equality campaign by bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, and religion to drive actions that will create desirable gender-equal world that everyone could be proud of.

The female unionists who initially converged at the National secretariat of NUPENG Wednesday morning were seen chanting solidarity songs condemning gender-based violence and discrimination. They also danced around Jibowu and other adjoining streets and subsequently settled down to the Lagos Zone of NUPENG at Isaac John for paper presentations to deepen their advocacy despite the inclement nature of the weather.

The women all clad in IndustriALL T-shirts with the inscription, “FGN Ratify and Domesticate ILO C190” used the strength of their campaigns to seek ratification and domestication of ILO Convention 190, economic justice and rights, bodily autonomy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, feminist action for climate justice, while also craving for technology and innovation for gender equality and feminist leadership amongst others.

Twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a progressive roadmap for gender equality, according to them it’s time to take stock of progress and bridge the gaps that remain through bold and decisive actions.

Chairperson of the IndustriALL Nigeria Council, (Women Committee), Comrade Oluchi Amaogu, addressing the women at the Lagos Zone of NUPENG’s office admonished all humanity to rise up to say no to violence and harassment against women and girls.

She noted: “C190 provides a momentum for trade unions and other stakeholders to fight violence and harassment in the world of work. Unions have an important role to play to make sure the Convention becomes part of national laws. We call on our Unions to raise awareness and provide education to Union members and society at large. Mobilize around the issue of violence and harassment in the world of work; build alliances with other trade unions, national centers, NGOs and especially women’s rights groups to help eliminate workplace violence and harassment.”

The women leader added: “Our unions and labour centers, either through CBAs and constant campaigns are expected to play their roles accordingly to meet this goal. To every comrade in the house we must be purpose driven though from different cultures and religious background but one purpose, protection of workers’ rights and defence of women. Let’s work with love and the spirit of comradeship.”

Comrade Oluchi stressed further; “all affiliates are encouraged to take the pledge to end violence and harassment against women in their workplaces and in the Union. You can even visit industriALL website www.industriall-union.org for more details. As women, I urge us not be discouraged irrespective of the challenges. To our male counterparts and leaders, we implore and solicit your supports, to our government, we call for the ratification and domestication of C190.” She stated.

The auspicious gathering had in attendance seasoned resource persons who made paper presentations to intensify the consciousness of the women in Union about the theme of the anniversary as well as the essence of International Women’s Day and how the women’s rights can be guaranteed and sustained.

Comrade Remi Ihejirika, a Project Manager at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) dwelt exclusively on International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190; whilst Comrade Oyinkan Olasanoye, National President of ASSBIF made a robust presentation on the 2020 theme of IWD, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.

Similarly, insightful remarks and fraternal messages were equally delivered by the representatives of Comrade B.G Olatunji, Chairman IndustriALL Nigeria National Council as well as Comrade Issa Aremu (mni), Vice President, IndustriALL Global Union Federation, SSAR.

Participants at the lecture hall of the Lagos Zone of NUPENG office who also took part in the awareness walk and rally on Wednesday included members of all the Nigerian eight affiliates of IndustriALL Global Union, namely National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE).

Others are Chemical and Non-Metallic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSAN), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Steel and Engineering Workers Union (SEWUN) and AUTOBATE.

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