ILO, NLC partner to develop gender policy roadmap

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it is partnering the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to develop a Roadmap for mainstreaming gender policy for the country.

Ms Inviolata Chinyangara, ILO Workers Specialist, said this at a two-day workshop on ‘Defining a Roadmap for Reviewing the NLC Gender Policy’ on Wednesday in Abuja.

The programme was organised by the ILO in collaboration with NLC and Fredrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

Chinyangara said that the review of the gender policy was imperative as the existing policy was developed in 2003 and long overdue.

According to her, gender issues have evolved over time and it is becoming the heart of sustainable development globally all over the world.

‘We cannot do any programme or any activity or any developmental intervention without mainstreaming gender.

‘So, that is why the ILO and FES are collaborating with the NLC to see how we can develop a roadmap for updating the NLC gender policy,’she said.

According to her, our role is to provide the technical s
upport and the information about which standards are supposed to be mainstreamed.

‘We are also supporting them financially to ensure that what we discuss here can support the development of the gender policy that is being updated, ‘she said.

Chinyangara said that the ILO had congratulated the government of Nigeria and NLC for adopting gender conventions on equality, non-discrimination, and ending violence and harassment in the world of work.

According to her, what we now want to see is to ensure that these conventions are also cascaded and mainstreamed in the gender policy of the NLC.

‘The 2003 policy only talks about sexual harassment, but convention number 190, recommendation 206, has given us more information on how to integrate issues of gender-based violence.

‘This also includes the definitions and the scope of coverage,’ she added.

Mrs Salamata Aliu, Chairperson of the NLC Women Commission, noted that the review of the congress gender policy was long overdue.

According to her, the one we are loo
king at right now came about in 2003.

‘So, is a thing of joy that we have partners that believe in the same cause and that is to update the policy.

‘It is important for us to finalise the new document that the younger generation will be proud of as what we have now, is just 30 per cent gender parity and we have not even been able to achieve it.

‘Meanwhile, the world has gone to 50-50 representation. So it’s an issue that the congress should not look or sweep under the carpet anymore. We have had a lot of arguments on why it should not be.

‘But what is in vogue is that 50-50 representation and is what should be aimed at, so that the younger generation will have a foundation to build on,’she said.

Aliu said that if the policy was updated, it would afford women the opportunities for their voices to be heard.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria