This blog prompt reminded me of a tweet I read a couple weeks ago that said:
Average publishing CEO salary, male: $288,500. Female: $46,000. Yes, you read that correctly. No, it’s not missing a digit.
Sure, that’s one job in one industry, but virtually every other job reflects the same glass-ceiling. It’s crazy to think that in 2014, equal pay is still an issue, especially prominent in yesterday’s elections, that needs to be addressed, even though the Equal Pay Act was enacted in 1963. In addition, the U.S. is one of the only one of the powerful, developed Western nations to not have paid maternity leave.
In Nigeria, women also face discrimination in the workforce. As of 2007, 66% of Nigerians were in the country’s labor force. Of the entire labor force, only about a third, 38.7%, of that consisted of women. Compare this the the labor force here in the U.S., which consists of 47% women. In Nigeria, women have higher rates of illiteracy than men. Only 6.9% of Nigerian House of Representative members are female, and only 8.3% of the Senate members are female. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a big issue.
Women in Nigeria, recently, had had some gains:
The Coalition of the Campaign acknowledges the adoption of several laws and policies aimed at improving respect for women’s rights, including:
- The passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Law 2007 by the states of Anambra and Imo, providing for affirmative action measures to redress under-representation of women in appointive and elective positions and prohibiting discrimination in areas such as education and employment.
- The adoption of laws protecting the rights of widows in several states: Enugu (2001), Oyo (2002), Ekiti (2002), Anambra (2004), and Edo (2004). However, implementation of these laws remains inadequate.
In Gayle Lemmon’s Ted Talk, she talks about women entrepreneurs from around the world before and after conflict.She said microfinance is a powerful tool, but we need to aim bigger than micro hopes and micro ambitions for women. She said how usually, only small loans are given to women looking for money to start up a business. How is this the case when women are so important to the economy? On a positive note, Lemmon said by 2018, 5 million jobs will be created by businesses owned by women. Women are called “the emerging market of the emerging market.” $500 billion has gone into this market. Increase economic competitiveness draws the gender gap closer together. For empowering women, that is extremely important.
Onyejeli, Ngozi. Nigeria Workforce Profile. 2010
“Africa for Women’s Rights: Nigeria.” – Wikigender.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2014. <http://www.wikigender.org/index.php/Africa_for_Women%27s_Rights:_Nigeria>.
“Women’s Bureau (WB) – Quick Facts on Women in the Labor Force in 2010.” Women’s Bureau (WB) – Quick Facts on Women in the Labor Force in 2010. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. <http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-10.htm>.