PLANET 50-50 BY 2030: STEP IT UP FOR GENDER PARITY (& DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN THE LABOUR MARKET).

PLANET 50-50 BY 2030: STEP IT UP FOR
GENDER PARITY
(& DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST WOMEN IN THE LABOUR MARKET
).

Introduction
According
to information from the United Nations official website, the month of March can
alternatively be referred to as Women’s month and 8th of March is
globally recognized as the International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating the
social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International
Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call to action for
accelerating gender parity. IWD has been observed since the early 1900’s – a
time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw
booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. (un.org)
Perhaps,
with more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights and an
increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in
every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality but
the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their
male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or
politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them
is worse than men. This year’s International Women’s Day is a time to reflect
on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and
determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the
history of their countries and communities and ultimately, to enhance gender
parity to 50-50 by the year 2030. This piece offers to analyse the
discrimination against the female gender in the labour market which
co-incidentally happens to be one of the yardsticks of measuring gender
equality and offer workable solutions.

Women in Workplace & Labour Market
According
to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled; “4th 2014
QUARTER JOB CREATION SURVEY REPORT”, women are highly discriminated against in
the labour market and they are not fairly compensated when compared to their
male counterparts. In a segment of the report with the heading; “NEW FORMAL
JOBS BY CADRE” It stated thus, “As
indicated in the summary finding earlier in the report, the formal sector of
the economy generated 138,026 new jobs in the 4th quarter of 2014. Analysing
these new jobs by Cadres, the Operatives cadre recorded the highest number of
jobs in the 4th quarter, rising from 49,246 employees in Q3 to 51,100 in Q4 of
2014, indicating an increase by 1,854 new employees or 3.76%. The Managerial
Professional and Technical Cadre followed with 32,974 new jobs or 23.89% of the
total jobs generated in the formal sector, showing decline in jobs created of
5,707 or 14.75% jobs from the preceding quarter.  The Clerical and Related Office Workers cadre
remained third, with 27,169 jobs or 19.68% of the total. The cadre that
recorded the greatest increase in jobs created between Q3 and Q4 was the ‘other
cadre’, which went from 3,041 new jobs in Q3 to 8,589 new jobs in Q4,
increasing by 182.5% over both quarters
” But the sad news is that about
64.51% of the total jobs created were occupied by the men leaving the opposite
gender to contend with the remaining 35.49%.
Additionally,
there are ample illustrations to support the claims that women are highly
disadvantaged in the labour market because of the malign belief that some
leadership positions should be exclusively reserved for the male. In subsequent
paragraphs, I would discuss the limitations to the equal representation and
fair compensation of women in the society and suggest solutions later in the
article.

The Limitations   
             
  • *    Educational Background
    & Qualification
    – If the truth is to be
    told, a great number of women/girls are discriminated against and this ugly
    trend as adversely affected their quest to attain their full educational
    potentials. The number of Out-of-school children in Nigeria is about
    10.5Million and about 75% of these kids are girls, this is because some parents
    believe that educating the girl-child is unnecessary because they would
    eventually be married off. Evidently, our societies are structured to support
    chauvinism and patriarchy tendencies and these anti-female societal systems put
    women at a disadvantaged position. The Encarta dictionary of English describes
    patriarchy as a social system in which men are regarded as the authority within
    the family and society, and in which power and possessions are passed on from
    father to son. I am certain that every one of us is familiar with this.
  • *    Poverty
    Women today constitute nearly 70 percent
    of the world’s poor, despite international efforts to compensate women and men
    equally in the workplace. While women made up about 32% of the world’s labour
    force in 1990, the percentage of women in positions to make important decisions
    was far lower. In 2002 women held only 15.7 percent of corporate executive
    positions in the 500 largest companies in the United States, an increase of 7%
    since 1995. In the 1990s women comprised only 1% of executives in the 1,000 largest
    corporations outside the United States
    ” (
    http://dailyindependentnig.com/2015/03/gender-equality-lets-make-happen/)
    (Gender Equality: Let’s Make It Happen – Oluwole Olusanya, 2015)
  • *    Cultural, Traditional
    and Religious Beliefs
    – In my article titled;
    WOMEN IN POLITICS: Chauvinism vs.
    Feminism?
    ” this point was addressed. The female gender is discriminated
    against in the place of work and other spheres because of some inimical and
    inhumane cultural, traditional and religious beliefs that women should only be
    prepared for marriage and their success in life is exclusively accessed on how
    well they perform at the home front. In some parts of the write-up, I noted
    that; “In many countries, strong
    patriarchal cultures subordinate girls and women in private life and exclude
    them from participation in public life. In Bangladesh, for example, state
    legislation frequently disregards women’s rights, despite the constitution
    stating that “all citizens are equal before the law”. In Northern Ghana,
    tradition dictates that women must not sit with men at community meetings but
    sit behind them”
    .  
  • *    Unfavourable Laws and
    Legislations
    – Some of my readers may not agree
    with this argument but I think that certain laws and legislations are skewed to
    the disadvantage of women. The Nigerian 1999 constitution (as amended) provides
    abundant reference. However, I like to apologize for not explaining extensively
    the reason(s) for this belief because of the following grounds; the first been
    the length of this article and the second been that enough research has not
    been conducted to support my assertion.
The Way Forward
Evidently,
the world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both
women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation; and many
from a younger generation may feel that “all the battles have been won for women
while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and
ingrained complexity of patriarchy. (Wikipedia.com)
Most
importantly, the clamour for the actualization of gender equality in the labour
market and in other facet of the society is an ever-evolving one and I have
come to terms with the realization that the everyone of us have a role to play
to ensure that woman’s right and human rights are given the utmost attention
they solely deserve and this interestingly authenticates and validates the
#PledgeForParity campaign and its ingrained advantages.
Individually,
in my own little effort as a freelance writer/journalist, public affairs
analyst and social critic, I have made a personal pledge for parity in a number
of ways which would be stated below; I have pledged that I would write an
article or write-up on issues concerning women and girls at least once in every
month and dedicate these pieces to my greatest motivator and role model in
life- My mom.
Secondly,
I have pledged that I would continue to discuss issues concerning women/girls
and women’s right advancement in social gatherings and public lectures when I
am a speaker/orator and thirdly, I would continue to give preferential
treatments to women in more ways than one. Please, get your mind out of the
gutter!
Lastly,
I have pledged that my male readers would be inspired by my service to humanity
and they would also like to do the same, please no fall my hand o.
God
Bless Us All.
Olusanya,
Oluwole Sheriff
Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.