Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Hundred of women Wednesday took to the streets of Abuja to protest against gender-based violence at work places, as part of a campaign aimed at promoting fair wages and reward for women, as well as ensuring social protection for the informal sector workers.
The 100-person march on women’s labour, decent work and gender-responsive public service, with the theme, “Fair’s Fair”, started at 41 Crescent, 4th Avenue, and terminated at first avenue, Gwarimpa, Abuja.
The protesters carried various placards with inscriptions like, ‘Women deserves equal wages and rewards as men on the same job’, ‘Together we must stop gender-based violence against women at work’, ‘Safe, secure and violence-free workplace is a right of every woman’, ‘Nigeria’s informal sector is unregulated and it affects women negatively’, among others.
The campaign, organised by ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with her youth movement Activista Nigeria, was also aimed at mobilising young people on issues like women and girls’ rights and social justice.
The ActionAid Director of Programme, Ms. Tasallah Chibok, said that women working in the informal sector, such as street vendors, domestic workers, women in construction work and home-based workers receive little or no employment benefits at all and are even more susceptible to violence by a whole range of actors.
She stressed further that many industries where women make up most of the workforce are populated by profit-driven companies who pay the lowest wages and have the worst records of work place protection.
Chibok said: “Work-places like quarry, constructions, entertainment and catering, garment/fast-fashion and agriculture are all repeat offenders when it comes to dangerous and undignified working conditions, experienced by women.
“ActionAid Nigeria believes that the duo of federal and state government need to ensure women workers in the public, private and the informal sector have the protection guaranteed in labour rights. They must regulate, enforce and punish all employers who violate labour laws and women’s rights.”
Chibok added that there are so many reported cases of workers being denied minimum wage, secure employment, maternity or sick pay, injury insurance and compensation, being prevented from forming unions and collective bargaining, thus having no effective mechanisms to report violence, harassment or abuse, without risking their jobs.
“These are the violations of worker’s rights and must stop,” she stated.