Senator Oluremi Tinubu
By Dele Ogbodo
The Senate Wednesday unanimously opposed the restriction or any form of discrimination against women on issues of employment opportunities in the country. This was the outcome of the debate on the Bill seeking an amendment to the Labour Act 2004.
Specifically, the Bill seeks to amend section 57 which empowers the Minister of Labour to make regulations prohibiting or restricting the employment of women in any particular type of work.
Leading the debate for the amendment was Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District. While acknowledging the improvement in the Girl Child Education, Tinubu said without the amendment it would amount to unwittingly reducing the opportunities open for women participation in the economy, adding that the Bill has no financial implication and is at no cost to government.
According to her, “In modern times, we face the challenge of unemployment. Leaving such powers to the minister may gradually reduce the chance of providing opportunities for women. We should strive to consciously create opportunities so that women can influence things positively in their chosen professions.
“Furthermore, by supporting this amendment, we will be whittling down labour market discrimination that exacerbates poverty among women.”
Responding, Senator David Mark, said since women had rejected the protection expected to be provided by the existing law, there was no need forcing it on them.