From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The National President, National Union of Textiles, Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade John Adaji has appealed to the Federal government to as a matter of urgency rectify Convention 190 languages of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) annual convention about gender violence against women, and stop men from calling women derogatory names.
Speaking on Monday at the 5th NUTGTWN National women conference, with the theme, “Women and the world of work: Gender-based violence and harassment”, Comrade Adaji noted that it was wrong hearing men referring to ladies as handbags and blankets, pointing out that it is amounted to violence and harassment of women in workplace.
The NUTGTWN national said some advanced countries have adopted and rectified Convention 190, and urged Federal Government to follow suit in order to curtail the spread of violence and harassment against women in the country.
“Convention 190 is an International Labour Organisation (ILO) annual convention about gender violence against women. It is interesting for you to know that some of the actions in working places are violence against women. Common among them is when you see men referring to ladies as handbags, blankets and stuff like that. These are some of the derogatory statements that we frown at. There are some advanced countries that have adopted and rectified this convention.
“And we are calling on the federal government as a matter of urgency to give attention to that convention to make the environment safe for the women.
“The objective of the workshop is to enlighten and raise awareness of participants on gender based violence and harassment in the workplace and ILO Convention 190 dealing with gender based violence and harassment.
“The workshop is meant to build capacity of participants to be responsive and proactive to issues of gender based violence and harassment in their respective workplaces and break the culture of silence among workers in the face of intimidation and harassment.
“We are here to generate ideas to incorporate ILO Convention 190 languages into the Union’s Constitution and Collective bargaining agreement”. Comrade Adaji stated.
Also speaking at the event, the Representative of Kaduna State government, the Director, Gender, Ministry of Human Services and social development, Hajiya Sadatu Mohammed said 80 percent of women suffering from gender violence and harassment in Kaduna State.
“The State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is a labour friendly governor, and he is concerned about gender issues. The State government has mutual understanding with labour unions. The State government has put measures in place to deal with issues of gender violence in Kaduna”.
Earlier, women Committee Chairperson, Funmilayo Isah in her remarks, noted that women are major victims of gender based violence in workplace and society at large, adding that regular advocacy and sensitisation about the violence and harassment should be the solution to the menace.
Also, in her remarks, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National women Commission chairperson, Comrade Salamatu Aliyu urged women to render selfless services because, “there is no money in unionism but popularity”.
Comrade Aliyu however advised women Unionists not to listen to backbiting as it could discourage them to work for their respective unions.
“Don’t listen to blackmail and backbiting, and stop Pull Him Down (PHD) syndrome because if you are a bad follower you will end up being a bad leader. You have to sacrifice alot in unionism. Don’t emphasise on money, it will naturally come. You will be appreciated if you do your work very well”. Comrade Aliyu said.
New officers were expected to be elected at the end of the workshop to run the affairs of Textiles workers Union, women wing.