Workshop Seeks Greater Women Participation In Trade Unionism | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ndigbo, Regional News

Workshop Seeks Greater Women Participation In Trade Unionism

Posted: Jun 1, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Christian Emeka Awka

Participants at a one-day workshop on enhancing the status of women have called for increased women participation in decision making processes as a stepping stone to attaining greater heights in all field of human endeavour.

The workshop which was held in Awka, Anambra State capital, was organised by the state branch of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).

It attracted resource persons and experts who enlightened women on their role in the quest for greater involvement in politics cum union matters.

Chairperson of MHWUN, Anambra State, Mrs Chinwe Orizu, had set the tone for the event by urging women to be conscious of their capabilities which could be properly utilised to place them in vantage a position to be leaders.

She described the theme of the workshop, ‘Building Women; Building the Union’, as apt and timely, especially in this era of seemingly female gender apathy in politics and union leadership affairs.

The chairperson, therefore, expressed the view that time has come for them to strive at excellence and shun all forms of negative biases that had held them down from effective participation in trade unionism.

Presenting her welcome address, the state Chairperson, Women Commission, Comrade Patricia Maduabum, pointed out that the nation could enhance her productivity and guarantee gender equality by utilising trained women.

According to her, ‘’Women all over the world and Nigeria in particular today compete with their men counterparts in building the economy. For example, late Prof Dora Akunyili of blessed memory and Dr Okonjo-Iweala Ngozi and so many others made enormous contributions to the development of this country’’.

She said the workshop was anchored on empowering women towards a better tomorrow in view of their potentials in transforming nations, adding that they had proved to be better managers of human resources and materials.

‘’In as much as we are still having some challenges concerning gender inequality, it beats my imagination that women themselves are the architect of their problems.

“So at the end of this workshop, we will be better equipped for the challenges ahead towards building the union and having a better Nigeria via women.’’

In a paper presented at the workshop entitled, ‘Combating gender based violence in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges’, Deputy Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Oby Eze, stated that violence against women was an age long problem which must be addressed.

She enumerated types of gender based violence to include rape, sexual assault, incest, wife battering, forced marriage, widow inheritance, female genital mutilation among others.

Proffering solution to the problem, she urged government to enact or reinforce sanctions to punish and redress acts of violence done to women and girls, adding that NGOs should intensify awareness campaign and report cases to appropriate authorities for further action.

South East Coordinator, Women Committee of MHWUN, Comrade Ify Oranye, who delivered a paper on ‘Trade Unions and the challenges of gender mainstreaming’, noted that 30 per cent affirmative action be applied in workplace leadership positions.