Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

By Ene Oshaba

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria Women Commission, TUCWC has called for the speedy implementation of the ILO Convention No. 190 to curb the case of Gender Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) in the country.

This is as Nigeria joins the world to mark the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH)
declared by the United Nations beginning from 25th of November till 10th December 2023.

Its National Chairperson Comrade Hafsat Shuaib, made the call during a symposium held in Abuja at the weekend in collaboration with Solidarity Center in commemoration of the day on the theme: “UNiTE to end violence and harassment against women and girls,”.

Shuaib who is also the Coordinator for the National Coalition Against GBVH of the Trade Union Centre (TUC and NLC) regretted that the many good policies to address the menace were not being implemented adequately, hence adopted the recommendation of the ILO Convention No. 190 which seek to recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.

Shuaib explained that the cases of Gender-Based Violence have been from time immemorial, a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society hence all hands must be on deck to see that we have a society that is free from gender based violence, not just against the female gender but the men also.

“We are very good at having good policies and laws in Nigeria but implementation is always the problem but the very one that we have adopted is the ILO C 190 convention and recommendations because this provides for everybody because that is the one that has been ratified and seems to work for everybody

“But for our laws, how far have we put them into use, we have very good laws but implementation has always been the problem, so we are calling for the full implementation of the recommendation of the C190 because it covers all sectors.”

She maintained that all stakeholders must join hands together to discard this scourge but encouraged victims not to keep silent but speak up to ensure justice for them.

“We all roles to play, we can’t do these alone we need to sensitize the public and encourage survivors to speak up, because if you don’t speak up, nobody knows what happened to you, everyone is liable of being harassed so we all have a role to play and it is good that we come together and fight this menace.”

The Vice Chairperson of TUCWC Comrade Hasiya Audu while speaking on the theme of the event: “Invest to End Violence & Harassment Against Women and Girls” stated that they are saying a big no to every form of harassments and GBV to women and girls in the workplace and by extension any where in the world.

Audu noted that being silent as a victim amplifies the cases of GBV however advised victims to speak up against any form of harassment or GBV.

“The first measure is not to keep silent, silent endangered GBV and harassment, when you are harassed and violated, speak up, do not be afraid because if one speaks up you gives courage to other women who are being harassed

“So the first message to anyone being harassed is to speak up because we are out here saying no to GBV and the Implementation of ILO C190 will be adhered to and will be followed to the latter.”

The Country Program Director-West Africa, Solidarity Centre, Mr. Sonny Ogbuehi stated that the ILO ratification on harassment is not just a milestone but a testament of their collective commitment to eliminating violence and harassment in the workplace.

Ogbuehi who was represented by Janet Ifunnaya Anaele, the
Gender Specialist at the Solidarity Center maintained that the ratification of ILO Convention 190 is not a legal formality but a profound step toward creating environment where every individual regardless of their gender can work without fear or condemnation while reflecting their commitment to upholding the right and dignity of all workers, upholding the principle of equality and respect that guides their mission.

He added that the 16 days of Activism is not only a period of reflection but a catalyst for meaningful change in our society moving forward.

“Let us on this 16 days of activism have a renewed purpose and commitment where everyone can live freely from fear of violence and harassment, together we can be the change makers, advocate and champions of a brighter more inclusive future for all.”

Sharing her experience, a survivor, Barr. Oluwatoyin Falaiye, expressed displeasure that some members of the law enforcement agencies who are supposed to protect women and girls from being violated are themselves the violators.

She urged women and girls not to trust anyone as they may not know who can abuse them “perpetrators can be law enforcement officers, too. Women and girls must not trust anyone,” she stressed.

Women are encouraged to wear orange clothing throughout the period of the Activism and tag ‚ÄúOrange ūüćä the world ūüĆé

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